Written by Scott Keister
When it comes to theater, there wasn’t much Curtis Jerome couldn’t do. He thought of himself as a dancer, but he was also a director, choreographer, set designer, builder and painter, costumer who both designed and created costumes, actor, singer, and even a playwright. Jerome did all of these things with imagination, consummate skill and an immense passion for the craft. He directed musicals at the Maverick Theater over the past five years; large scale, complicated musicals like Chicago, Rent, The Producers, Spamalot, Legally Blonde, and Les Miserables. He was a shrewd judge of talent, casting people in roles they weren’t necessarily comfortable with until he drew out of them talents they didn’t know they possessed. He made better everyone he worked with. It’s a sad, tragic loss for the local OC theater community that Curtis was killed this week in a car accident. It’s a loss that has touched an incredible number of lives. The outpouring of love and respect for Curtis on Facebook has been overwhelming. What better tribute to Curtis than the words of those he worked with in the theater community. Here are some comments posted about Curtis: his talents, his humor, his compassion, his intelligence, and how he made us all better performers.