Today’s rising sun beamed through and dispersed the heaviest fog this morning; thickly white, grounded clouds up against the windows, the river nowhere in sight. In my head humming “A Ferry Ride,” the light takes on a glow. This is the very song being sweetly sung yesterday by Lucy Godinez as I opened the door to sit in on rehearsal for a reading of next season’s new work, The Secret of My Success. (Paramount’s just opened rehearsal hall, The Voris, is christened and crackling with creativity!) This new musical is a wonder. As much as it is a classic farce (brings to mind Goldoni’s A Servant of Two Masters and One Man, Two Guvnors which won James Corden a 2012 Tony and made him a star) this musical adaptation of Universal Pictures’ 1987 sex romp starring Michael J Fox, is full of surprises. Eschewing bits of its original 80s source material, the authors’ collaboration has something in development here that feels current and real. It’s full of real people. For real people. For us. And it nails so much that is going on now in our lives with so much musical, lighthearted fun. And the surprise is; its heart is so big, warm and wise. Like in “A Ferry Ride.”  Our protagonist, Brantley, is elevated out of the panic he has created with his corporate climbing scheme by meeting Christy, single mom and trying to get ahead herself. She opens up to him about her life, harsh reality, hope and it’s a moment of resonant music, poetry and empowerment. (And I can’t get the melody outta my head!) This is just one example of how this new musical departs from the movie’s plot. Smart and romantic, lyrical; really exquisite revelations put into words, alternately stunning and hilarious! The writers are arriving at eloquence and relevance while keeping the zany, goofballs we meet in life at play; parodies of characters we know all too well! With the way this process is going, its very likely they will be all so funny because they are all so real. What’s funnier than the truth? Or just being human?

It really was a singing and dancing extravaganza they will remember and grow from well into their adult lives, no matter where their paths may lead them.

On Friday night, Paramount School of the Arts debuted onstage with a mighty 99 students strong! A week-long intensive music theater workshop called Take It From the Top, devised specifically for kids by Broadway actors! Could not be more proud of Shannon Cameron, Mathew Silar, and Andrea Pikscher for their teamwork on this! (It looked like this was Matt’s baby! Great job, Matt!) I gotta say, the future of Broadway looks bright! There were several seriously special voices among these young people. The teachers and the crowd were vocal about how impressed they were and cheered through the entire presentation! How the young students took the microphone, greeting the audience, introducing themselves and singing, showed their confidence in themselves and how much they loved the music and couldn’t wait to share it with us. It really was a singing and dancing extravaganza they will remember and grow from well into their adult lives, no matter where their paths may lead them. Seeing them tune into themselves being at their best is something I’ll never forget.

Love & thanks,