Here we are: Fall, 2018, launching our eighth season of Paramount’s Broadway Series with a through the roof hit that takes off like a rocket and never comes down! There is more than enough energy and star-power here to keep our beloved Aurora, City of Lights, aglow and beaming bright into all of next year! Talk about renewable energy!
Audiences and critics are already raving about returning to see it again! Saturday’s Press Opening Night generated laughs, cheers and awe like electrical sparks flying throughout the night!
Starting out with us five years ago as Assistant Director on Miss Saigon, Trent Stork has worked his way up to Associate Director on every show I’ve helmed since, as he rose to Artistic Associate and Casting Director, and now comes into his own directing Legally Blonde. His work here (with Assistant Director Callandra Daby in her debut here as well) resonates with humor, wit and a deeply felt relevancy to what it means to take charge and be true to one’s self. Trent’s Co-Choreographer Megan Farley has also risen through the ranks under the wing of Director/Choreographer Amber Mak (as Amber did under the great Rachel Rockwell) as Amber’s associate on each of her shows here: Hairspray, The Little Mermaid, and Elf. Megan has put her own stamp on creating choreographic knock-outs collaborating on Legally Blonde’s high decibel production numbers. Formerly assisting and associate conducting with our excellent, Jeff Award-winning Tom Vendafreddo, Kory Danielson made his auspicious debut opening last season as Music Director on Million Dollar Quartet to the tune of Jeff Award nominations this year for Best Production and Best Ensemble no less! Under Kory’s baton (with Assistant MD/Associate Conductor Charlotte Riverd-Hoster in her first here!), Paramount’s orchestra rocked the house Saturday night, perfectly synchronized with Ethan Deppe’s killer electronic music design and our always outstanding Sound Designer, Adam Rosenthal. Lighting Designer Nick Belley made his mark closing last season with the stunningly beautiful Once, his first time here as lead designer. The multi-Jeff Award winning Jesse Klug (Paramount’s Fiddler, Les Miz, Rent, West Side Story to name a few) brought Nick to our house to co-design Sweeney Todd (garnering a Jeff Award for both of them) and in Legally Blonde we have Nick solo again in top form with a striking lighting design alternately explosive and painterly.
Seeing a pattern here? I’ve got to go on about Scenic Designer, Jeff Kmiec (Once, Elf, Jeff Award-winning The Little Mermaid, A Christmas Story) who became established here joining superb Kevin Depinet (Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, Rent among others) co-designing their Jeff Award-winner Les Miserables. Working closely with Trent, Jeff has again created a theatrical world of dazzling aesthetic and scale to match Stork’s brilliant conceits and fresh devices at play. It’s got to be daunting, well, downright scary, to step up to the plate for the first time here on Paramount’s stage. One more to mention is Properties Designer Jesse Gaffney who has begun her first season here like a rock star! Kudos are warranted time after time for Costume Designer Theresa Ham, Projection Designer Mike Tutaj, Wig Designer Katie Cordts, Stage Manager Maggie O‘Donnell and Assistant Stage Manager Matt McMullen, each of whom has made incredible debuts at various times since we began eight years ago and have made Legally Blonde the powerhouse production it is!
Your indulging me in taking this all in is deeply appreciated, dear reader. Reflecting on all these debuts, past and present, and the thrilling work developed through all of them, which will continue through all of them working together.
The future looks bright! Legally Blonde, our opening show, provides a momentous beginning to a new season of phenomenal promise!
Hope to see you here!
Love & thanks,