Just as the sun rose this morning that little light went on inside; thoughts clicked into how Season Eight has opened with Legally Blonde followed now by The Wizard of Oz. From Elle Woods to Dorothy Gale. Written a full 100 years apart. A century between them. And it dawns on me, how similar the moral of their story is! Dorothy awakes to the realization that, as Glinda tells her, “You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.” And that “She had to learn it for herself.” Elle’s self-realization empowers her as she sees how far she’s come “without anyone holding my hand, I had to find my way.” From Elle’s “what you want is right in front of you” to Dorothy’s “I won’t look any further than my own backyard,” we learn where one’s heart’s desire is found. Notice how much has changed in the last hundred years, and how much we stay the same? How so many of us feel like an outcast, a misfit, and miss the most obvious thing that belongs to us? Just be yourself. Own who you are. All the competition in life: who has what, who has not, who’s the best, who beats who, winners, losers, all of it makes “the world a hopeless jumble.”

We are so broken by what it is we think we don’t have. While all along simply knowing and loving yourself, truly seeing what you already have, makes all the difference.

What makes you You, and appreciating the differences in everyone else, is the most enlightening discovery we can make for harmony together as this planet spins. Once we can belong to ourselves, we can belong to each other. Director Amber Mak finds the golden thread of this truth knitting the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion together in friendship and family. Remarkable how individuals can be so diverse and be so united in helping one another. Of all the special effects and inspired imagination in her production, having us see the good in ourselves and in each other is her greatest purpose. To see this, remember it and take it home with you for always, is Amber’s and all us at Paramount’s holiday wish for you!

Yesterday I sat in for a fleeting two hours of our orchestra’s all day long rehearsal. Time flew under the baton of Conductor and Music Director Kory Danielson, and with the performance from the pit of the refreshed arrangement by the young, highly touted New York arranger, Matt Aument. I didn’t want it to end and can’t wait for the cast to hear our 14-piece orchestra play this lush and lively score for the first time! All the feels and fun you remember are lovingly renewed and will be seen by tomorrow’s first preview matinee audience! There is lots of work to do during wandelprobe today for tonight’s final dress rehearsal and will continue this week during rehearsals and previews up to Press Opening Night on Saturday! I can tell you already, the show looks and sounds like a dream! And that goes double for our Dorothy, Elizabeth Stenholt! Wait ’til you see her!

Love & thanks,