At home this early morning, looking out over The Fox, a big warm sun shining brightly in a clear sky full of optimism to share with you on the progress we’ve made for this fall and Season Six of Paramount’s Broadway Subscription Series! (Already at almost 30,000 subscribers!)
Lighting Designer Greg Hofmann, who just won a Jeff Award last year for his design of Paramount’s The Who’s Tommy, came by the office yesterday to discuss our new production of ABBA’s Mamma Mia! Talking about it is like taking a vacation! “A sparkling, sunny, sandy Mediterranean beach, a tiny enchanted gem of an island in the middle of a magical iridescent blue-green Aegean Sea. On the horizon, beautiful young Sophie’s promise of seeing the wonder of a fairy tale.” The story, strung together with ABBA’s great, timeless songs of love and loss, rocking and rolling, independent spirit with a wholesome sexiness, and yes, happy ever afters! No one dies! Vacation? This is pure escapist reveling for the times we live in and just the right high note on which to blast off the entire theatre season!
Director/Choreographer Amber Mak’s creative team has redefined in jaw dropping, eye popping spectacle Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Paramount’s very special holiday gift to you and your family! It boasts an intelligence and imagination and heart you will proudly share with your loved ones and talk about around the dinner table. I guarantee the delight you will take in this presentation for you. Ms. Mak directed and choreographed last season’s Hairspray to great acclaim, and one of the proudest moments in Paramount’s short history bringing us all together celebrating integration 60’s style dancing in the aisles!
Set Designer Jeff Kmiec met with me here last week at my digs. Jeff designed Paramount’s Les Miserables with Kevin Depinet (who btw has designed Mamma Mia! so pretty you may weep) and won the Jeff Award for Best Scenic Design last year as well. (Paramount won 5 Jeffs, on a record breaking 16 nominations our first year of eligibility). Jeff sat down at the table and presented the most imposing monument to evil of a set I could ever imagine for Sweeney Todd. All the chills, all the feels, just looking at these very preliminary renderings. Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece warrants the best we can bring to his tale of revenge horrific, and I think to myself, ” I hope I can cast and direct this production as good as this looks!” It’s a timely tale. How outside, irresistible and crushing, unjust and dehumanizing forces, can turn perfectly good, ordinary people into conscienceless beings, cold blooded and cannibalizing. Poor things. And yes. Not without wry, piercing irony and wit. Laughs with gasps.
Internationally esteemed director/choreographer Ron Kellum and his creative team are beginning to cast Paramount’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Probably the most thrilling work I’ve ever been privy to in my life. The revelatory nature rising through the audition process feels once in a lifetime absolute. The African American voice Mr. Kellum is bringing to the work will dazzle and stimulate and move us beyond what we ever knew or felt about Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber’s rock opera. This is the one. The must-see event of the year!
And really, aren’t they all? What do you think? I’m sure you have already picked your favorite. But I urge you. I’d like you to consider subscribing to the whole package. I mean, at these prices and for the caliber of productions you’ve come to expect, why not? I frequently hear, “that’s not for me.” Well, you are wrong. This is all for you and expressly for you. Try something new, and make a change you perhaps didn’t know you needed. Come see what live theatre can add to your days, your thoughts, maybe even a bit of healing and soul. Feel good!
Love & thanks,