NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. (Actually, mostly just Playbill.)
Paul is featured on the original Broadway cast recording of both Finding Neverland (as Mr. Henshaw and Nana, the dog) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (as Grandpa George, and an Oompa Loompa!)
The Outsider comes East
The announcement of Paper Mill Playhouse's 2017-18 season - which includes the East Coast premiere of Paul's new play, The Outsider - received lots of enthusiastic coverage. New Jersey's Star-Ledger called it "the most ambitious line-up in the theatre's history". A theatre blog declared it Paper Mill's "most daring and boldest season to date", and predicted "this may be the season that designates Paper Mill as Broadway's official pre-tryout house". The news was also covered by Playbill and Broadway.com.
Three sweet roles at the Chocolate Factory
Since March of this year, Paul has been having a ridiculously fun time as Charlie Bucket's perpetually pessimistic Grandpa George in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway. Except on those occasions when he's having even more fun as Charlie's eternally optimistic Grandpa Joe, or as Willy Wonka himself (see photo above). It is truly the sweetest job on Broadway.
Captain Hook in Neverland
On June 7th of last year, Paul assumed the roles of Charles Frohman and Captain Hook in Finding Neverland on Broadway, and continued in the roles through the end of the Broadway run. Paul was with the production since its April, 2015 opening, originating the role of Mr. Henshaw. The casting news was announced by both Broadway.com and Playbill.
"A great American play." The Outsider's first reviews
Paul's latest play, The Outsider, had its world premiere in June, 2015 at Peninsula Players Theatre in Wisconsin (with its original title, A Real Lulu). The reviews could not have been more rapturous:
“A highly developed production of a great American play. Witty and clever and smart. The play is about politics and government; that sounds like yawn material, but Smith nimbly maneuvers the topics toward a blend of comedy, farce and satire about what America is seeing today. The beauty is, after Smith lets blood in the pointed satire, he delivers care – rays of brightness about democracy. Mr. Smith deserves to go to Washington - and all around our nation - with this inspirational satire.” - Green Bay Press Gazette
"An exceptional world premiere. A timely production overflowing with clever plot twists reflecting the contemporary political climate. An intelligent, well-written play with enough quirks and surprises to keep the politics fresh. An intellectual and stimulating comedy that will send the audience home laughing and sighing simultaneously about their own government."- Broadway World
"The production's success is ... its ability to strike responsive chords in the audience as [we] recognize political foibles that are all too familiar -- the weaknesses that are inherent in a democracy demanding an informed and committed electorate. But at the same time, we know in our hearts, as [one character] says, “that government, when it works right, can do something good”. A Real Lulu is anything but didactic. It is a fun-house mirror held up to reflect our system of government, including our role in it. Some of us tend to rant as we express our frustrations with our political structure. Maybe laughter is the best medicine. And the opening night audience enjoyed rounds of healthy laughs from the opening lines to the final speeches, then collectively rose to their feet as they applauded the curtain call." - Peninsula Pulse
Paul at Birdland
On January 4, 2016, Paul had the privilege of performing the music and lyrics of Neil Bartram at the legandary club, Birdland, in a program called "New Songs for a New Year". A very New York way to start his first full year in New York!
Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise visited backstage at "Finding Neverland" in 2016, and very graciously posed for this photo... which was then printed in People Magazine, and posted on a gazillion websites around the globe. It is now - and forever - possible to Google "Katie Holmes Paul Slade Smith" and get 408,000 results.