Sunday’s Aurora Pride Drive was loud and proud, full of downtown’s good people and high spirits! On my walk down River Street I could not pass by the crowd and photo shoot festooned with rainbows of balloons in front of Renew Salon and Spa. After shouting out a greeting I was invited inside to meet the owner Diane Gonzalez who graciously gave me a tour of the beautiful job done on her new salon (just opened two months) and yup, I posed for a photo out front with a couple who just happened to be subscribers to Paramount’s Broadway Series!

Running late, I get to the river front plaza on the steps of the North Island Center in time to catch Paramount School of the Arts’ Lip Sync Battle! Presided over by their majesties, Ari Gato and Bella Deballe, Drag Queens Supreme, a lovely crowd of family and friends were there whooping it up, cheering on the serious skills on display! The Queens were phenomenal and so generous giving the stage to the performers but not holding back on the challenge to lip sync for their lives! The pure joy of the young competitors isn’t lost on any of us as a profound euphoria begins to embrace the terrific show and everyone watching. These kids are really good! Their talent is real and they are out and about and living it in rainbow color! The applause lifts them up! They are loved!

And now, let me “Raise You Up” to tell you Paramount’s Kinky Boots single tickets are on sale now! Click here for the creative team, cast, ticket info and performance calendar. Rehearsals start next month with First Preview on Wednesday, August 18 – first public performance! Hallelujah!

Always know that the health and safety of our audience, cast and company are very much top priority and in progress consistently keeping up to date with federal protocols and those of five different labor unions serving our artists, crews, staff and all employees.

And one more reminder: this Saturday, June 19th is Juneteenth, a communal holiday celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 declaring that “all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are thenceforward and forever free.” In observance, join me and seek out and support the excellence and culture of Black owned businesses and restaurants – there’s a list on Yelp to get ya started and you just might make a habit of it!

Love and thanks,