With the current theatre world on hiatus, I have created a Spotlight Series of interviews with some of am the many talented artists who make our Los Angeles theatre community so exciting and vibrant thanks to their ongoing contribution to keeping the arts alive in the City of the Angels. This Spotlight focuses on married couple and soon-to-be-parents Paul and Alicia Luoma who met in New York City and moved to L.A. together to pursue their mutual passion for the Performing Arts.
Paul Luoma has been doing theatre since he was a kid, around six or seven, growing up in Metro Detroit where he performed all throughout childhood and into high school. After graduating from Western Michigan University for Musical Theatre Performance, Paul moved to Manhattan where he performed both professionally and regionally. He actually met his wife Alicia at their day job during that time when she was the hostess at a restaurant where he was waiting tables ten years ago. The couple moved out to LA in late 2012 and have been involved performing in some amazing roles in local theaters, both together and apart, and have made “the greatest of friends because of this theatre community.”
Alicia admits she was “bitten” by the theater bug way back in elementary school when she went to see a production of ‘Annie’, after which she and her Mom played the soundtrack and sang all the songs in the car non-stop. Although extremely shy in high school, Alicia was fortunate enough to venture on to Elon University where she earned a BFA degree in Music Theatre. After graduating, she performed professionally in different parts of the country and even around the world on a cruise ship before moving to New York City. And the “rest is history!”
“I did the ‘actor thing’ for a couple years, which is when I met my wonderful husband Paul — who just happened to share the same passion for the performing art as me. We then moved to Los Angeles, where I had the pleasure of performing in several amazing productions locally, some of them alongside my husband. We made an incredible group of talented friends doing theater out here.”
I have seen these two amazing performers in several musical theatre shows at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica and with Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse. But their latest production due this July is the arrival of their first child, a daughter, which the two admit is “a whole other bag of tricks in this current climate, trying to figure it out and manage all the details.” And of course, they are looking forward to seeing so many friends in productions that sadly are now postponed or have been cancelled.
Alicia shares, “As actors, we put our blood, sweat, and tears into these projects. There is no greater feeling/reward than transporting an audience to a different world with your work. I am heartbroken for those who were not able to present their shows as planned. Many people I know are now sharing their talents via social media, whether it be singing a classic hit, teaching a dance class from their living room, or playing an original song on piano or guitar. I think it’s wonderful. Just the other day, my husband and I watched all 3.5 hours of The Rosie O’Donnell Show which streamed live for the Actor’s Fund. Artists supporting artists is crucial, as we’re all in this together. Local theaters need help now more than ever, and we both encourage everyone, who is able, to donate if they can.”
No doubt both these talented triple-threat actors cannot wait to meet their daughter and share their musical theatre talents with her! But what about getting back onstage themselves? Paul shares, “It’ll be a hot minute until we have a newborn baby girl on our hands come mid-July. But I’m definitely itching to get back on stage, hopefully in something Sondheim before the year is over!” And when that happens, I will certainly be in the audience. And I hope many of my readers will be too!