Labor Day heralds the end of summer, but the heat is on in Aurora literally and figuratively at Paramount. Mamma Mia! begins preview performances at tomorrow’s 1:30 Wednesday Matinee! Five previews and eight hours of rehearsal ahead this week to fine tune and finesse ABBA’s mega-hit musical sensation for Opening Night this Saturday, September 10!

Yesterday, I sat in on the day long first rehearsal for Paramount’s orchestra, a killer rock band of keyboards, guitars and drums! The orchestrations groove and rock and, at times, approach a surprisingly sublime epic sound. The A-list pit musicians are playing the most authentic rock concert charts with a full wall of sonic power tweaked particularly for this production. It feels to me as if we are embarking on a new era of sound for Paramount’s Broadway Series. You won’t believe your ears! It’s live and right here for you! What surprises as well is the beauty in certain arrangements that is simply breathtaking!

Today, emotions and spirits will be riding high among the cast and musicians playing for the first time together! The last of three special twelve hour rehearsal days today, the triple threat actors will get into mics at noon and experience that one of a kind sensation singing ABBA’s Mamma Mia! from start to finish. While re-imagining their scenes and dances as they sing, this wandelprobe session is a touchstone for the excitement tonight as the company will perform their only complete production dress rehearsal before their first public performance tomorrow. My hope is that they savor the moment this afternoon singing with our Paramount Orchestra. Being truly present to the full force of the power and nuance of singing the original, full orchestrations live! There is an ecstatic discovery I watch them take in themselves as they sing with the pit below for the first time; how they resonate with it physically and it fills their hearts! Together, they will raise a happy sound filling the theater to the Art Deco rafters of Paramount. I think it is a hopeful sound lifting us; everything is gonna be alright!

Love & thanks,