BWW Interview: A Chat With Artistic Director Patrick Grossman
Ahead of the 30th Anniversary concert this weekend at the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at CM Performing Arts Center, Artistic Director Patrick Grossman took a few moments to chat with me about the shows this season, his plans for theatre, and more!
Hi, Patrick! Thank you so much for joining me today! Please tell me about yourself and your long-time relationship with the Noel S. Ruiz Theater.
I have been involved since 1992 at the theater. I started with performing, moved on to stage managing, then choreographing and directing. Due to unfortunate circumstances I took over as the Artistic Director.
Many congratulations to everyone at the theatre on celebrating an amazing thirty years since you officially opened. Not only that, you guys are in the midst of your 41th season and it certainly looks like we are going to party; let's chat about the amazing shows you have scheduled.
Dreamgirls is a very special show as it was a favorite of our founders so I felt this was a very fitting show to do for our 30th. We last did it eleven years ago and had many sold out houses. We are, of course, hoping for the same. Jekyll & Hyde I brought back as it is our 5th most repeated show. We are very excited about our holiday season show, Beauty and the Beast, especially after the movie coming out bringing new life to it. It is one of those shows that families can enjoy together regardless of age or what holiday they celebrate. You will be entranced by the enhancements we have made with the help of technological advances. I chose Aida for the fact that it has such a beautiful score and story. We have not done it since 2006, so this will provide an opportunity for those who have not seen the show to enjoy and appreciate it.
As Artistic Director, what is your process for choosing the shows for a particular main stage season?
We have 2 seasons a year during which I try and find something for everyone. I do feel that knowing our clientele is a key component when selecting these shows.
Are there any shows that haven't been produced at the theatre that you are itching to get mounted?
Yes there are millions of shows I would love to do. Our proximity to Broadway precludes us from being able to do a lot of shows as well as makes us have to wait longer which is unfortunate. In our future I would like to do Newsies, Rock of Ages and A Christmas Story to name a few.
You recently opened up the Onyx Theatre next door, as well!
We are so excited about the opportunities the Onyx provides and that was my reasoning for opening it. It is a venue that provides performers a chance to showcase their works of art. We have already hosted cabarets, comedy shows, one act plays and dinner theater. The possibilities are endless!
What is on the horizon for the Noel S. Ruiz Theater?
We, of course, are hoping to be open for another thirty plus years. I will continue to look for more amazing seasons and will utilize modern technology to continue to improve the the quality of our productions. I also am always looking for ways to enhance the theater itself and have other surprises in store.