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Tim and Pamela Winslow Kashani join me for opening night of Bridge 2 Broadway's original musical, Higher Education

Tim and Pamela Winslow Kashani join me for opening night of Bridge 2 Broadway’s original musical, Higher Education

Let’s hear it for Tim and Pamela Winslow Kashani!! We have a couple living in Irvine who have won two Tony Awards as Broadway producers – one for Memphis and the other for the revival of Hair. The best news is that the talented couple is committed to bringing the Broadway experience here to Orange County.

The ingenious duo partnered their nonprofit Apples and Oranges Arts with the Orange County School of the Arts to create Bridge 2 Broadway, a five-week, tuition-free program that provides OCSA, UC Irvine and Chapman students the opportunity to work alongside some of today’s top Broadway professionals in a variety of theater arts disciplines. How exciting is that for a young student wanting to act, sing, dance, or work behind the scenes?

This was the third summer Bridge 2 Broadway had explored readings of new musicals in various stages of development and the first year that one of the original musicals, Higher Education, culminated in six full-blown performances at the Margaret A. Webb Theatre in Santa Ana. With Tim writing the show’s book and directing the show and Pamela writing the music and lyrics and performing in the show (Pamela created the role of Rapunzel in Into The Woods on Broadway), it was a family affair (their 10-year-old son Timothy even had a major role). Perry Ojeda, Eric in the show, was the other equity actor along with Tyrick Wiletz Jones, Larry in the show, and celebrated choreographer Galen Hooks and producer Christopher Sepulveda were on the roster.

A VIP reception was held prior to each Saturday night performance, with supporters and other important people attending. I spotted OCSA’s Founder/President Ralph Opacic and OCSA board member Jerry Mandel, who was lauded for introducing Tim to Opacic, and the partnership was born. Reception chair Kathy Hamilton, who was a huge supporter of the B2B effort, welcomed everyone, including big-time arts philanthropists Marybelle and S. Paul Musco and Twyla and Chuck Martin. I also spotted generous reception donors Julie Ann and Jim Ulcickas (owners of Bluewater Grill) and members of the student cast and crew, who were all excited for their part in the show.

I must tell you it was an amazing effort! We are so fortunate to have these two dynamic people amongst us. I can’t wait to hear what’s next. Stay tuned…

Selected photos by Spencer Reed and Molly Maier

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