Around The Town

Paulanne Simmons Unscripted

Life Is Filled with (Wonderful) Surprises

April 1, 2019: Nine years ago I was holding auditions for a staged reading of my musical In the Schoolyard at the Dramatist Guild. Most of the people were auditioning by appointment. But at one point a young man walked in and said he’d noticed our sign and would like to audition.

Life Is Filled with (Wonderful) Surprises

April 1, 2019: Nine years ago I was holding auditions for a staged reading of my musical In the Schoolyard at the Dramatist Guild. Most of the people were auditioning by appointment. But at one point a young man walked in and said he’d noticed our sign and would like to audition.

Curtis blew us away. However, he was African-American, and there really was no role for him. But we really liked his voice! So we decided to make the lead African-American.

Curtis worked very hard. And, I might add, for no pay. He also appears on the studio recording of several songs from the musical.

Years have gone by. I have thought of Curtis and that staged reading occasionally.

Then on March 28, I was in the audience at the Imperial Theatre when it was announced that Curtis Wiley would be playing the role of Paul Williams in that night’s performance of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations. This was Curtis’s Broadway debut.

Curtis rocked the house. And I am so proud and happy. Life is filled with wonderful surprises.