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Happy fall from Hershey, Pennsylvania! We’re writing to you from the wonderful land of theme parks and chocolate bars with some exciting P&P updates.

Highlights in this newsletter from Benj & Justin include the upcoming national tour of A Christmas Story: The Musical!, the long-delayed sheet music release of our song “Do You Remember?” and news of an exciting ASCAP Songwriter’s Fellowship Award we recently received.

For more immediate updates, follow us on twitter @pasekandpaul and facebook

As always, if you’d like to reply to us after reading our update, please send a message to our email address, info (you cannot reply directly to this email). Still–we’d love to hear from you, so just shoot us a note! And if you’re overloaded and aren’t interested in hearing updates from us, click “unsubscribe” at the end of this message to opt out.

Thanks for reading and hope to see you on the road!

-Benj & Justin

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We’re so excited to announce that for the 2011 holiday season, A Christmas Story: The Musical! will be embarking on a five-city National Tour culminating with a three-week run at the legendary Chicago Theatre.

If ACS is touring through your (or a nearby) town, we’d be honored if you’d come and check out the show! After a very successful run last year at Seattle’s 5th Ave Theatre, we’ve made some tweaks and can’t wait to get the show on the road. The production features a stunning 30-member cast, a 16-piece orchestra, and all of your favorite iconic moments from its cinematic namesake.

We are particularly jazzed that the show will be making a two-week stop in Detroit, just a stone’s throw away from Ann Arbor where we spent 4 years at the University of Michigan. We look forward to seeing some old friends as we meet up with the tour for some exciting events in Ann Arbor. GO BLUE!

Peter Billingsley (a.k.a. Ralphie from the original movie and producer of hit films including Iron Man) will continue on as a producer for A Christmas Story: The Musical! The show is helmed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (Urinetown) and choreographed by Warren Carlyle (Follies, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway). It boasts a fantastic cast of Broadway talents including Gene Weygandt (Wicked), John Bolton (Spamalot), Rachel Bay Jones (Hair), Karen Mason (Mamma Mia) and more!

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November 8 – 13
Hershey, PA
Hershey Theatre

November 15 – 27
Detroit, MI
Fisher Theatre

November 29 – December 4
Raleigh, NC
Memorial Auditorium

December 6 -11
Tampa, FL
Straz Center

December 14 – 30
Chicago, IL
Chicago Theatre

For more information about the musical and its upcoming 2011 season visit:

You can also read more about the production at and

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THE BEACON - Fairmont Firebird 2011 Marching Band Show

One of my favorite weekends is returning to Indianapolis for the BOA (Bands of America) Super Regionals held at Lucas Oil Stadium.  For the past four years, Kettering Fairmont High School’s Marching Band has competed in this competition, and it is always a nice opportunity for Mother, even my brother, and his family, to attend this event.

Returning to Indianapolis is always special for me.  From the time I was small, traveling thirty miles South to Indy was always a big treat, and an experience.  Even at 47 I am excited to visit this beautiful city, especially the familiar sites along Meridian Street.

I decided to forgo getting up too early to meet up with several Ball State University friends, and left Kettering by 9:00am.  I drove Westward on OH-725, which turns into IN-44, enjoying, and taking in all the fall colors along the highway.  Of course, there is even more pleasure passing through the wonderful little communities of Germantown, Camden, Liberty and Rushville.

Just outside Rushville, I stopped to pay my respects, and snap some photos of Wendell L. Willkie’s grave site.  Mr. Willkie was born, and grew up in my hometown of Elwood, Indiana where both his parents served as attorneys.  Mr. Willkie later moved to Rushville, and was nominated by the Republican Party to compete against President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940.  Willkie returned to Elwood in August 1940 to officially accept the nomination.

Despite missing IN-52 that would have taken me directly to downtown Indy, I managed to pulled into the parking lot of Shapiro’s Deli, immediately behind Mother, who had been delayed due to a marathon on the Northside.

Shapiro’s Deli is one of my favorite eateries.  It has become our traditional lunch-site each BOA Saturday.  While eating, we ran into Dr. Joe & Mavis Barnett from Elwood, as well as several tables filled with parents from our fine neighbors from Centerville High School.

At Lucas Oil Stadium we had an hour before Fairmont’s scheduled performance.  I am glad we got to see Center Grove High School’s marching band.  My cousins, Kari Hallett Miller, and Eric Hallett, are alums of this outstanding band program.  Kari & Eric’s parents, Judy & Jerry, also taught at Center Grove for many years.  The entire Hallett family would have been proud of their marching band!  Outstanding performance.

Fairmont Firebirds took the field with what was, perhaps, their best performance of the season.  The process of evolving into the complete BOA-concept can be rather tedious, but Fairmont is making strong steady gains each year.  Breaking into the BOA album of yearly competitors is tough.

Quintin spent some time with Mother and I as we watched Avon High School Marching Band – always a treat – and our guest collegiate band in exhibition, The Purdue University Marching Band.  What a spectacular performance by 360 non-music majors.

The preliminary competition ended, and I drove Mother through most of the downtown Indy congestion to the Indiana War Memorial.  There I bid Mother a safe trip home, and then strolled down Meridian Street with my camera snapping away.  The sun was just preparing its final descent on the day, and what a nice touch nature added to the photographs.

With this annual visit to Indianapolis the marching band season officially comes to a close.  I am glad that we move on from the season, but I am always so grateful, and thrilled, that my sons experience one of the greatest highlights as did I when I was in high school.

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November 2011
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