America’s Finest City seems to be a breeding ground for talented people (don’t believe it? Check out how many Olympic athletes we have). So it’s no surprise that a San Diego native has been nominated for a Tony Award.
Paloma Young, 33, grew up in North County and was nominated for the prestigious Broadway award for costume design for the show “Peter and the Starcatchers.” The San Marcos High School and UC San Diego grad no longer lives in the area, but her San Diego roots played a role in her nomination.
“Peter and the Starcatchers,” a prequel to “Peter Pan,” originally started showing at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2009, and that’s how Young became involved. But she had no idea it would end up in New York City just a few years later.
“I thought if I just do a really good on this project that I really love, maybe everything will work out in the end,” she said.
La Jolla Playhouse initially held the show as a workshop, and the seaside theater needed a local designer to create the look. In stepped Young, who was teaching design at UCSD.
Young was asked to read the script of the play before interviewing to be the costume designer. She ended up identifying with one of the main characters, Molly.
The character is raised by a single father who also happens to be a captain of a ship. Molly’s storyline revolves around her life sailing across the world with her captain father and spending her life near the ocean.
Young was also raised by a single dad who loved to sail and spent her childhood near San Diego’s shoreline. Needless to say, Molly’s story stood out.
“I walked into the interview … and told the director that I cried,” she said.
Despite the tears, she got the job and created the pieces for “Peter and the Starcatchers.”
Young then moved to New York, where coincidentally the show was picked up off-Broadway. The show then moved on to the big Broadway stage and Young stayed the costume designer the whole time, which is not typical.
“People told me not to take it personally if I didn’t get hired in New York, but it just worked out like that,” she said.
Young found out she was nominated for a Tony on May 1 for her costume design – nearly three years after initially working on the show. “Peter and the Starcatchers” received a total of nine nominations.
“It’s sort of magical,” she said.
Young’s trying not to think about the winning possibility too much, but she is looking forward to one thing: Getting dressed up for the awards.
“I’m super excited to walk down the red carpet,” she said.
Her boyfriend, who she initially met during the La Jolla Playhouse production of “Starcatchers”, will accompany her to the Tony's. Young’s hoping to where something that will reflect her quirky style, but has yet to pick a gown.
“There’s a lot of pressure!” she said with a chuckle.