With Sweeney Todd rehearsals beginning within a week and The Little Mermaid extended by popular demand for a week, there is an overlap here we call “double duty” going on behind the scenes at Paramount’s Broadway Series. A certain group of actors, Stage Managers, Music Directors and staff involved in both will be going from performing on the Paramount Theatre’s main stage to daily rehearsals across the street in the Copley Theatre. And could there possibly be two more divergent worlds to enter in and out of?! Between Disney and Sondheim, there is certainly something for everyone going on here!
There has been the most remarkable record-breaking attendance to “Mermaid” in our short history, but it’s the energy of bringing friends and families together in the theatre that resonates more than the numbers, don’t you think? The walls seem to almost shake to the rafters with a joyfulness of holiday spirit, cheering and laughter, an electricity in the air that vibes with a sense of hope for the good in the coming year! I watch as a mom brings her four kids in tow, from little ones on up. A young dad carrying his little girl down the aisle (the aisle she will be dancing in soon to his delight). Teens and young adults on double dates, couples bringing their parents and brothers and sisters with the kids and then grandparents out treating their children’s children to the show. So many countless combinations of families of every ancestry and from every part of town and beyond!
Paramount Nation is a boundless demographic that includes everybody hoping they know we are here for them. I just wish more folks knew about us! And I do hear, “But Jim, the theatre is not for everyone.” My reply: “I just can’t help feeling they’re missing out!” I’m convinced that once a first-timer enters the building, takes a seat, and the show begins, that person will not believe “the feels” to be experienced! And this is what I describe as the element of “self-discovery.” Emotions are motion! Feeling good feels alive! Love is irresistible and finding in yourself that you are loving story and song and dance and imagination can make a difference, even create a change in yourself. Every story is a love story. Comedy or tragedy. Who has love. Who lost it. And who never even knew it. Our humanity runs the gamut of experience from the noblest to the atrocious. Any means we have to see the light within ourselves has got to be thought about and shared and cared for. It’s the purpose of Art. The purpose of Theatre. And, oh boy, here comes “Sweeney!”
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