This “Jersey Boy” is all thumbs on his iPhone this morning writing you from the screen porch of my family’s Wi-Fi-free home in Yardville, NJ. Last week, an hour north of here in New York City’s Theatre District, Paramount’s President & CEO Tim Rater, New Works Director Amber Mak, and yours truly, found ourselves attending a preview presentation of a new musical in the very beginnings of its incubation. Presided over by the distinguished Tony Award winning director John Doyle, we were sitting among investors and production companies including our host, Broadway producers, Junkyard Dog Productions.

That night, we were sitting in the audience of Junkyard Dog’s current Broadway success Come From Away, which blew us away! In the early morning, Amber and Tim caught a flight back to the office while I remained for a “busman’s holiday” seeing four more Broadway shows in three days: A Doll’s House, Part 2 (starring Laurie Metcalf, this season’s Tony winner for Best Actress and one of the founders of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in this knockout cast and minimalist staging of a brilliant new play), Bandstand (a thrillingly mesmerizing singing, dancing 1940’s big band ballet about a post WWII soldier/musician’s struggle for love & success), Pacific Overtures (Artistic Director John Doyle’s meticulous mounting at Classic Stage Company of Stephen Sondheim’s exquisite meditation on the westernization of Japan) and 1984, in previews just arrived from Britain, a wildly ferocious ride of an intensely theatrical, blood chilling adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece.

I got here Sunday just in time to make it to the Father’s Day brunch at my sister Philomena’s restaurant Diamond’s in Pennington. This is my first trip away in three years to see family. Lots of love and laughs and everything you can imagine coming from a big, Italian family. (I swear there’s a script here somewhere!)

Next week, I’ll be writing you, dear reader, from Aurora as Paramount Theatre’s New Works initiative begins a week long workshop of a new musical adaptation of Universal Pictures’ 1987 film The Secret of My Success being composed by Chicago’s own Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler.

See ya then!

Love & thanks,