Last night Michele Bergeron, Paramount’s Development Manager and Amber Mak, our New Works Development Director, put together an evening of entertainment in appreciation to our donors participation in growing with us! The intimate evening took place with everyone sitting in rows of chairs right onstage at The Copley. Warmly and beautifully lit with theatrical lighting, and presented simply with composer Michael Mahler on piano, our patrons were treated to a musical showcase of Paramount’s World Premiere this season, The Secret of My Success. Michael, co-composer and lyricist presided (as writing partner Alan Schmuckler was away working in New York) and charmed everyone with the now new story adapted from the 1987 Universal picture which starred Michael J. Fox. He was accompanied by Chicago musical theater stars and cast members Dara Cameron and Heidi Kettenring and together they began a lively conversation with our patrons making for a very special evening of insights into the new work and their own personal take on its differences and strengths. Michael addressed how the version they’re writing with director Gordon Greenberg and co-book writer Steve Rosen, draws on the hilarious and best elements of the original story and springboards into their own contemporary musical about the true meaning of success in life. I think you will find within it, the importance of family ties, truths and loves. Michael, Dara and Heidi are extraordinary and truly remarkable actors and singers. As they lifted their voices in songs from the show, a heartfelt appreciation from the whole group of us filled the stage! And there were plenty of laughs to boot! Followed by a cocktail and dessert reception, our invited audience left the theater talking about how even more excited they are to see the show!

It’s carried aloft by their dedicated energy and commitment to excellence for which our audience ends up on their feet cheering every performance!

Thursday night, I took a friend to dinner and a show: martinis and Honolulu Tuna (rare) at The Turf Room and Newsies at Paramount! I hadn’t seen the show in four days! In the best possible way, the company has taken complete ownership of their work and the show has a bright and shining life all its own! Humbling! It’s all due to the elaborate collaborative forces at work from the first days of rehearsal, into production and tech with our incredible designers, crews and stage management, and the tireless, phenomenal talent of our cast and orchestra! Superbly nuanced, the work moves so beautifully, everything I could ever hope for! It’s carried aloft by their dedicated energy and commitment to excellence for which our audience ends up on their feet cheering every performance!

Next month, rehearsals for our holiday spectacular, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast directed by Amber Mak will begin! And next week, I’ll be writing you from New York’s Theatre District where we will be holding auditions to complete our casts for The Secret of My Success and Cindy Lauper’s fantastic Broadway hit Kinky Boots directed by Trent Stork!

Love & thanks,