Paramount’s World Premiere of August Rush:The Musical drew an enthusiastic crowd Friday night, on their feet in a cheering ovation for the final chord of Mark Mancina’s symphonic pop score. This new music, added to the film’s rhapsodic soundtrack adapted for the stage, created an air of appreciation from the first-nighters that crackled throughout the show’s debut here in Aurora. What a gift to have this cast with us so fully committed to their deeply felt, skilled and stellar performances! And what a benchmark of a triumph for our Home Team Paramount Production Staff! Challenging firsts were met with a dedicated professionalism and a finish and refinement of the highest quality on stage and behind the scenes. Our guest creatives and producers from New York and Hollywood reap the benefits of our Broadway Series experience and thanks to them, we have continued to learn big time from the unique demands particular to this project. What a beautiful show!

And now, I’d like to introduce to you the choreographer for Newsies, Joshua Blake Carter! Over lunch yesterday, we began our talks (the first of many, many more to come!) on our approach to this Broadway musical theatre phenomenon and its dynamite score by Alan Menken. “It’s the epic sensation of the dancing that audiences remember,” I begin, “is there a way to make what these boys went through, their real-life struggle, as epic as that? Can we deliver on both”? The Newsboys’ Strike of 1899 really happened. How can we make the stakes, everything they have to lose, feel real. The turn of the 20th Century in America is a roiling time of change with The Industrial Revolution, Child Labor, and the exploitation of the immigrant poor to serve the corporate giants, i. e. newspaper moguls, Pulitzer and Hearst. Gosh, if we can have the audience experience what the newsies are fighting for, its resonance with today, as well as deliver on the spectacle of dance, their victory will feel all the more exhilarating!

we’ve got explosive talent detonating this fall, opening Season Nine, folks!

Well, I have found my collaborator in Joshua. We are of like minds. Our banter and rapport already promises lots of fresh, new ideas! Let me tell you a bit about his resume: a leading member of Giordano Dance Chicago as Operations Manager and Director of their second company, Giordano II, he was awarded the Producers’ Panel Prize by The Ruth Page Foundation for his choreography and was a winner in DanceWorks Chicago’s new works competition. He was also honored as the winner of dancemakers2.0, Ballet Noveau Colorado’s national dance competition.

Next week, I’ll be writing you from NYC where we will be holding auditions for Newsies with Casting Director/Associate Director, Trent Stork. Tom Vendafreddo is Music Director/Conductor, and with his Jeff Award-winning skills combined with Joshua, we’ve got explosive talent detonating this fall, opening Season Nine, folks!

More news on Beauty and the Beast, The Secret of My Success, and Kinky Boots coming up in the weeks ahead!

Love & thanks,