Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! Yesterday was a full day of The Wizard of Oz auditions, a long day with a succession of terrifically talented artists that took us well into evening prime time last night. Revisiting the place in our hearts where this beloved classic tale resides brings back childhood memories as the actors conjured up a fun mix of new and traditional takes on Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. Between “takes,” Director Amber Mak’s thoughtful musings on the character-driven motivations of the Wicked Witch and the double cast role of Professor Marvel and The Wizard, opened my mind to a more real three dimensional insight into their very human folly. Frank Baum’s original novel published in 1900 and the 1939 Judy Garland movie are masterpieces duly appreciated by Ms. Mak. This story and stories like it define what it means to be truly timeless. It is timely and relevant as a depiction of how our being human remains constant in certain ways in spite of all our modern technological evolution.
Some things about us just never change.
Cabaret’s Director, Katie Spelman was in town Sunday afternoon to take one last look at her wildly successful work on Paramount’s stage. Between assignments regionally and on Broadway, Ms. Spelman made a point to return to Aurora to see her family nearby and the “family” she has among our cast and crew. I sat next to Katie as she watched the play for the first time since opening night and, as well, for the final time as her schedule allows. It’s a rewarding experience for a director to revisit their work when the chance presents itself. Much is learned, noted, appreciated.
Without turning to see her, I could feel how moved she was by the performances she coached, the moments she staged.
I could sense the tiniest catch-breath from her, and tears, so inconspicuous and personal. Her being back from finishing one project, on her way to the next, was a very good thing. As for the rest of us, the final eight performances ending the run this Sunday evening, begin tomorrow! If you can help it, don’t miss it!
Two weeks from yesterday, Once rehearsals begin! The actors dwell within the psyche of a director until finally after of months of anticipation, the day finally arrives when the full cast is together face-to-face for the first time! So exciting! But for yours truly this will not happen until I first join Paramount’s Legally Blonde team in New York City for audition appointments! Traveling on Sunday, (missing closing night for Cabaret!) we start bright and bushy-tailed Monday morning to see what’s what in the Big Apple. The New York to Aurora circuit could be opening up again as it has in the past when we brought in talent for Million Dollar Quartet, Sweeney Todd (Paul Jordan Jansen won the Jeff for Best Actor) and Jesus Christ Superstar, to name just the most recent few. The next time I write you will be from my laptop in a hotel room. Keep a good thought!
Love & thanks,
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