It’s Monday night, and I’m pretty wound up and wired over this afternoon’s stunning event in Paramount Theatre’s Grand Gallery. To think Tim Rater called me seven years ago to work with him to create our Broadway Series, and today I am standing in the midst of a crowd of people attending the preview for the John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center that will be home to the Paramount School of the Arts, artist loft apartments and a new fine dining restaurant. At the core of this project is The Community Builders (TCB), the award-winning nonprofit real estate developer whose business, infrastructure and community program investments make neighborhoods work for people of all incomes; a catalyst developing housing, local businesses and public amenities that strengthen neighborhoods. For months on end, Tim has been working with TCB Project Manager Kirk Albinson and Development Director Will Woodley. I find myself awestruck standing there realizing that TCB, the City of Aurora, Mayor Richard Irvin and Tim are bona fide partners in the building of this arts center. It’s really happening, and it’s creating partnerships and leaderships bringing so many people together. Paramount’s Vice President of Production Rose Quealy and Director of Education and Community Engagement Shannon Cameron also have done months and months of heavy lifting planning the arts center’s spaces.
Watching them stand together with so many of our staff among the journalists, community leaders and enthusiastic citizens assembled makes a moment that will last me a lifetime.
In downtown Chicago today at the Equity Office, auditions for next season are in full swing with Director/Choreographer Amber Mak, Music Director Tom Vendafreddo and Casting Director Trent Stork scouting prospects for Paramount’s The Wizard of Oz, a spectacular new production for the holidays. I’ll be joining them in the morning for Day Two and learning all the latest developments!
In two weeks, Cabaret will end what is a triumphant run on March 18. Here is yet another Paramount production audience members are owning as their favorite and certainly the best production of this American masterpiece they have ever seen. It fascinates me how diverse patrons can be in their taste. How we try to present something for everyone. How we do our best to take care of our patrons and give them the best customer service possible while delivering a caliber of theater for which they can be proud to attend. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss Cabaret.
I can tell you, from seeing it again at Sunday’s matinee, I don’t think there has been a show quite as powerfully, uniquely human and complex, sophisticated and original as how the finale of this show is, for me, a most exquisite staging of anything I’ve ever seen.
As one show closes, another begins as a week later, Once rehearsals shall commence gathering a remarkably versatile cast of musical, comedic and dramatic talent creating a world set in a contemporary Dublin pub. In this story, the working class musicians’ lives are ever-changed, and we’ll raise a glass or two to the glories of Season Seven!
Love & thanks,
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