Community, family, friendship - springtime

By Tim Smith

Where A r [ts] Thou?

Est. Weekly: January 2006

“…and in all arts it is training that brings the art to perfection.” Mark Twain

I thought that this was significant enough that I wanted to open this week’s visit with the following story, from the Playbill.com website.

Jon M. Chu, the director of the upcoming film version of the musical, and a Broadway staple since 2003, Wicked, released, via social media, a letter that was featured by Playbill. It reads, in part:

“Thank you for all the support these past several months in anticipation of the WICKED movie. We have so many exciting things to share but for now I’m giving you one…or two, rather.

“Here’s what happened: as we prepared the production over the last year, it became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of WICKED into a single film without doing some real damage to it. As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years.

So we decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one WICKED movie, but TWO!!!! With more space, we can tell the story of WICKED as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters…So get ready, because WICKED is finally coming to you on successive Christmas holidays beginning December 2024…”

I really enjoy being able to share the travels and adventures of colleagues in the arts community, especially when they take the time to forward them on to me as their busy schedules unfold.

I have shared the lives and talents for a number of years of dear friends, Paul and Karen Larson, educators and community leaders, and most importantly, founders, and the long-time guiding force behind the success of the Chino Community Theater, in Chino, CA.

Recently, they were in New York state visiting family and friends, and they sent me a most interesting text stating that they had just seen three Broadway musicals, The Phantom of the Opera, Hadestown and Chicago, followed by a performance at the Metropolitan Opera of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. “When In Rome” … and they did it up – royally for sure.

They were also able, on Easter Sunday, to hear a long-time friend perform at Carnegie Hall as a member of the Sonoma State Concert Choir. According to Paul, they were a “hit.”

When you travel from coast to coast, it is best to plan as much as possible and that they did. They even managed, (and they are great LA Dodgers fans), to take in a Triple A game between the Washington National’s affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings and the Syracuse (and New York) Mets, affiliate. Their granddaughter even got to run the bases when it was over.

A former Texas colleague, now living in Montana, sent me a photo of him holding the program just as the curtain was coming up on the Broadway production of The Music Man*, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. From his vantage point it looked like they had good seats. Ah, to be in New York City in the spring – and on Broadway . . . Thanks Jim.

Personally: Family, friends and colleagues of my late, dear friend, John Lynd, met on Mother’s Day in a celebration of his life, and the impact he made on the theatre community of Southern California, most notably, in the Inland Empire and specifically, the Chino (CA) Community Theatre’s 7th Street Theatre stage.

Unable to attend in person, I was able to join the event through FaceTime. Isn’t technology wonderful?

…and late breaking: Not really arts related, but taking author’s privilege: I will be attending the PGA Golf Championship played over Southern Hills in Tulsa, OK next week, and what makes it even more special is that two of our four sons will be with me, both avid golfers. Look for “fairway news” in later columns.

Finally: I am working to develop a most interesting link between a notable theater production of the early '80s with today’s rapidly changing sacred landscaped.

Connections made, through the arts, in our town

For Otis: [1926-(1968)-2021: A Broadway Baby!

{*Today, May 9th, the 2022 Tony nominations were released. Awards presented on June 12th]

TAS

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