Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bursting Blockbusters!


The next Broadway show in our lineup, WICKED, is commonly called a “blockbuster.”  There aren't many blockbuster shows out there.  Only a small number of musicals can sell every seat from New York to Des Moines to Portland and down to San Antonio.  PHANTOM, JERSEY BOYS, and LES MISERABLES are some examples of the half dozen or so productions that do well on Broadway and “on the road,” touring the country and sometimes even internationally.  

These shows usually slow down after a few good years on Broadway and a trip or two around the touring hotspots, but every now and then a blockbuster takes on a life of its own.  WICKED is a perfect example.  This show, which just celebrated a decade on Broadway, prides itself on selling out every performance of the eight touring productions currently taking place all over the world.  It is one musical that every theatre, the Orpheum included, wants as often as it can book it – taking into consideration, of course, that we don't "burn out" our audience. 
 
Close on the heels of WICKED is another notable blockbuster:  Disney’s THE LION KING.  Both WICKED and THE LION KING are the godsends of any season ticket package.  

We are very fortunate to have WICKED as our next Broadway show and the first for the new year.  It will be here for three weeks.  It's hard to believe that in that time, our 2,450-seat theatre will amass almost 60,000 patrons coming from all over the Mid-South to see this spectacular show.  60,000 – that is the equivalent of filling the FedEx Forum three times.  Imagine three sellout nights at the Forum.  I think it would take a rare superstar to sell 60,000 seats in Memphis.  And WICKED is that rare superstar!  

Tickets are selling fast at the rate of over 600 per day, and the show doesn’t open until January 29th – more than five weeks from now.  When this musical has come and gone, I will start to look at when we can welcome WICKED back to the Orpheum a few years down the road.  And then I will start to wonder when THE LION KING will once again parade down the aisles of the South’s most beautiful Theatre.
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Thursday, December 12, 2013

SOUND OF MUSIC Sounds Pretty Good for Broadway


So, how did I like NBC’s live televised production of THE SOUND of MUSIC?  I thought it was very well done.  No, it did not capture the splendor of the hills of Austria, but - just like any play - the location was confined to a small space (specifically, a television studio), and I thought they captured the landscape well. 
 
Like most of us, I am a fan of this show.  It ranks amongst Broadway's best from the 1950’s through the 70’s.  Of course, that era brought us a lot of memorable musicals like THE KING AND I and MY FAIR LADY.  I can’t find much fault in almost any production of these Broadway classics.  They are some of my favorites from that era, and it's easy to enjoy them despite whatever shortcomings a modern production might offer.      
 
However, it is also easy to be little critical of stars who take on the task of replicating such well-known performances like Julie Andrews in THE SOUND OF MUSIC and Yul Brenner in THE KING AND I.  It is a herculean undertaking, and very seldom are the original stars outdone.  That said, Carrie Underwood was terrific but a wee short of Julie Andrews' iconic performance as Maria.
 
People ask me if televised productions, be they the replays of the original movies or, as in this case, a live production, hurt or help what the Orpheum does in presenting a season full of Broadway productions each year.  Do they diminish the possibility of someone buying our tickets after seeing the same title presented on "the box?"  Personally, I think not.  In my 33 years of selling tickets to our Broadway shows, I have come to realize that familiarity is very important, and projects like NBC's THE SOUND OF MUSIC help with that.  It's much more difficult to get people to invest their dollars in tickets to lesser known shows like DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS or even new Tony Award winning shows like ONCE - very few people know what ONCE is about.  
 
Yes, I liked SOUND OF MUSIC - and from NBC's ratings reports, it seems like millions of others did too.  And overall, that's great news for the Broadway industry.
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Final Bows on Broadway


Things are crazy in New York!  Well I guess that goes without saying, but here I am referring more to things on Broadway.  It seems as though good shows are closing faster than usual. 
 
Shows like BIG FISH, FIRST DATE, ANNIE, SPIDERMAN and others have all announced that they will be closing within the next 4 weeks.  I really liked FIRST DATE and BIG FISH, and I am sorry to see their lights dimmed so early in their histories.  Most of us know from the news that SPIDERMAN has been struggling since day one, so it's closing isn't really a shock.  Still, there must be something trending here because while the Orpheum has presented some pretty fabulous shows in the past 16 months, the average attendance has dropped from what we experienced a few years ago.  I hope this is not a sign of things to come where attendance and interest in Broadway-style musical theatre begins to fall out favor with the masses. 

Of course, this may all be all about the economy.  While things like the stock market continue to improve and banks seem to have settled the chaotic practices that prompted the last economic downturn, it could be that people are just not sure what the future will bring.  Maybe people are simply more cautious in their spending.  I don’t have the answers, but something is effecting the Broadway fan base, and I'm curious to know what it is.

Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sister Act Ticket Giveaway



SISTER ACT is Broadway's feel-amazing musical comedy smash and it will be live on the Orpheum stage December 3-8! The New York Post calls it "RIDICULOUSLY FUN,” and audiences are jumping to their feet in total agreement! Featuring original music by 8-time Oscar® winner ALAN MENKEN (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors), SISTER ACT tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look—a convent! Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, SISTER ACT is reason to REJOICE!

Enter below for your chance to win two tickets to the opening night performance on Tuesday, December 3 at 7:30PM.  To purchase tickets Click Here.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Justin Timberlake Gives a TKO Concert!

On Monday, I had the opportunity to see our own hometown superstar Justin Timberlake in concert.  It was incredible!  There is no doubt that Justin has it all: the voice, the moves, charisma and energy.  He is the full package, and he is without a doubt one of the greatest entertainers of our time. 
 
Justin has appeared in 22 films, one of which is coming out in December; is currently headlining a sold out tour in major arenas across the country; has regular (and memorable) appearances on SNL; and his albums continually climb top the charts. 

Try to think about an entertainer - past or present - that could sing, dance, act and be one of the most sought after talk show guests in the country. You simply cannot come up with anybody that compares to Memphis' own Justin Timberlake. 

Justin's commitments to Memphis and to Millington says it all.  He loves his city! 

Thank you JT! 
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Friday, November 8, 2013

Here's Johnny!


I recently had a great call from my good friend Johnny Mathis, the smoothest voice in the world.  He is excited about his forthcoming return to the Orpheum - the only Memphis venue he's performed in since the theatre reopened in the late 1970’s.

I wouldn’t miss this concert for the world!  This time, he'll give us a special mix of holiday favorites and the hits that made him a superstar.  Not only will Johnny bring us the concert of a lifetime, but to add to the experience he is bringing another good friend of mine: Gary Mule Deer.  Gary is one of the funniest people in the world, and with a name like Gary Mule Deer – how could he not be funny?
 
I'll be inviting all of my friends to celebrate the holidays at one of the best nights of entertainment we could possibly share, and I hope you'll decide to celebrate with us on Saturday December 21st!
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Romeo, Romeo! Thou art everywhere, Romeo!

Carey Elise as Juliet and Wolfe Coleman as Romeo in
TSC's Romeo and Juliet. Photo by Joey Miller.
Those of you who have seen West Side Story before might have realized that the plot is a little, well, familiar.  Just about anyone who took a Literature class in high school would catch that West Side is a modernized, musical version of one of Shakespeare's most popular plays: Romeo and Juliet.

But West Side Story isn't the only adaptation of this Shakespeare classic.  In fact, even today, the story is everywhere!  From the computer animated cartoon Gnomeo and Juliet to the recent zombie flick Warm Bodies to straight-up reincarnations like the October 2013 limited release of Romeo and Juliet, people just can't get enough of this tragic tale of two doomed lovers.

With the help of Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), Memphis' R&J craze is more prevalent than ever before.  Last year, TSC fully launched the "Romeo and Juliet Project" where educators went into schools all over the Greater Memphis area with a three-part hands-on study of the play for every 9th grader in each school.  The project was so successful that not only is TSC expanding the program, but it's also going to answer the demand for public performances of Romeo and Juliet

On January 28th and 30th, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre's Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, TSC's Romeo and Juliet will once again bring Shakespeare's original text to Mid-South audiences.  For these two magical performances, patrons will experience the full-bodied love story as if for the first time.

We hope you'll join us in embracing the full "Romeo and Juliet Experience" by seeing West Side Story this week (November 5 - 10) at the Orpheum Theatre and catching Shakespeare's original Romeo and Juliet with Tennessee Shakespeare Company January 28th and 30th!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Let the Bidding Begin!


This year, I have donated my Classic 1995 Ferrari Convertible with only 26,000 miles to the Orpheum’s Raffle, which means this Ferrari could be yours!

100% of the Raffle proceeds will go to our new Centre for Performing Arts Education, which is scheduled to begin construction in 3 short months.  Raffle tickets are only $100, and there are other fabulous prizes included for second, third, and fourth place winners.

The winner of this incredible car will be drawn at the Orpheum’s 35th Annual Auction on Saturday, November 16th in front of an expected crowd of 800 guests.  Of course you do not need to be present to win, so if you happen to be the lucky winner and aren't at the event, we will call you after the drawing to give you the news.

But I hope you'll join us at the Auction for all the fun of bidding on over $400,000 worth of trips, a car, jewelry, furniture, dinners and much more.  And if you just can't wait until the big event, check out our online auction, which is open now!
We also look forward to seeing you at WEST SIDE STORY Tuesday, November 5th through Sunday, November 10th. 
In the meantime, happy bidding!  

Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ticket Giveaway



More than fifty years ago one musical changed theater forever. Now it's back and mesmerizing audiences once again. From the first note to the final breath, West Side Story soars as the greatest love story of all time. Based on Shakespeare's famous tale of Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever.

But what is it about this story that still captivates audiences today?  Find out first-hand not only by attending West Side Story, but also by joining Tennessee Shakespeare Company at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre for Romeo and Juliet, complete with Shakespeare's breathtaking original text - just as he intended it.

Enter for your chance to win the complete Romeo and Juliet experience with two tickets to the opening night performance of WEST SIDE STORY on Tuesday, November 5th and four tickets to Tennessee Shakespeare Company's production of ROMEO & JULIET on January 28th or January 30th.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage At The Brooks

With WEST SIDE STORY just around the corner, we at the Orpheum were inspired to embrace the incredible Hispanic and Latin culture that we have here in Memphis.  So, we turned to The Brooks Museum!

The Brooks is currently celebrating Hispanic Heritage with an exciting array of community events and exhibitions like "Ancestry and Identity: Prints by Maritza Davila."  Davila, a Professor of Fine Arts at Memphis College of Art, will get you in the mood for WEST SIDE STORY with her unique artistic blend of elements from her Puerto Rican culture and reverent images of family.  Davila will also host a workshop on November 9th where participants will create collagraph prints using a special printmaking technique.

The celebration culminates in a salute to Mexican heritage with traditional Day of the Dead activities on Saturday, November 2nd, including a Family Day from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and a Fiesta at 7:00 PM. 

At the Dia de los Muertos Family Day, visitors of all ages will enjoy Mexican mariachi music and appearances by the local performing groups Danza Azteca and Caza Teatro Bilingual Theatre.  Face-painting, artist demonstrations, and hands-on art activities will also be available.  As if that wasn't enough, admission is free!

The Day of the Dead Fiesta that evening features music from DJ Moi, Marcela Pinilla, and Mariachi Guadalajara.  Don your favorite black and white outfit, as is tradition, and start the night by making your own traditional Cempazuchitl, or flower of the deceased.  Then, the party begins with Latin cuisine, cerveza, Mexican cocktails, and tequila. 

Round out your cultural excursion by joining the Orpheum Theatre November 5th through 10th for WEST SIDE STORY, one of the most beloved musicals and greatest love stories of all time.  

Hasta luego a la Brooks!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Buddy Holly: A History of the Jukebox Musical

On Tuesday I attended the Opening Night performance of BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY.  BUDDY, which first hit Broadway in 1990, was the very first “jukebox musical.”  Since then, the jukebox musical has become a trend in musical theatre. 
 
BUDDY was soon followed by SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE, and it included all of Lieber and Stoller's most popular songs like “Hound Dog,” "Jailhouse Rock," and "Stand By Me," among others.  Then came MAMMA MIA, featuring all of the great hits of ABBA.  The Tony Award winning story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons followed suit with the toe-tapping show JERSEY BOYS, and - most recently - MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET hit the scene with Sun Studios legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.  But it all started with BUDDY, and with that, a new genre was born, providing new productions for Broadway and for Broadway companies touring across the country. 
 
Intertwined throughout BUDDY is the story of his meteoric rise to fame and his life, which tragically ended after only 18 months into his career.  Still, at its core, BUDDY is really more of a concert – emphasizing on the tunes you know and love.  The show takes you back to the 50’s where you can be a part of musical history.
 
BUDDY runs through Sunday night at the Orpheum Theatre.  Great seats are still available and can be purchased at the Orpheum Box Office at 901-525-3000 or online at www.orpheum-memphis.comI hope to see you there!
 
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cast of Buddy Tours Graceland



The cast of BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY took a trip to Graceland on a Backbeat Tour bus with Brandon Cunning providing the music and leading the tour.  Check out a recent Commercial Appeal interview with Todd Meredith, the actor playing Buddy, for more on the relationship between Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley.

BUDDY will be at The Orpheum Theatre through Sunday, October 20. Click Here to purchase tickets.

Enter below for your chance to win four complimentary tickets to tour Elvis Presley's Graceland.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New York Foodie: Chin Chin

Once I saw a sign saying that there are 18,376 restaurants in New York City.  Now who is going to challenge the accuracy of that number?

Every month I spend an average of four to five days in the Big Apple, and because of that I've have the opportunity to experience a large number of these restaurants over the years.

I'm often asked what my favorite NYC restaurant is, and while I have about a dozen places that I like to frequent, I do have a favorite: Chin Chin.  Obviously, this is not an Italian restaurant.

Being a fan of Chinese cuisine and an expert on China (I spent a month China and ate Italian every chance I got), I highly encourage you to visit Chin Chin the next time you take a trip to New York. 

And if you trust my judgment, you'll seek out Jimmy Chin while you're there and ask him for his signature dish: the Grand Marnier Shrimp.  You won't find this one on the menu, so be sure to let Jimmy know that Pat sent you!

Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY Ticket Giveaway


In just three short years, Buddy Holly set the music world on fire, breaking the mold and forever changing the face and sound of rock and roll. BUDDY - THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY charts his meteoric climb, legendary adventures and tragic fall on that fateful day the music died.

Armed with a Fender Stratocaster guitar, his signature specs and a charismatic blend of rockabilly swagger, Buddy explodes onto the stage in a jukebox musical fully loaded with classics “Peggy Sue,” “Oh Boy,” “That’ll Be the Day,” “Well All Right,” “Not Fade Away” and many more. With an encore that will have you on your feet and dancing in the aisles, BUDDY - THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY will “send you out of the theater on an unstoppable high” (The Boston Globe).

To purchase tickets Click Here.


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Friday, October 4, 2013

Real Reality on Reality TV


Maybe it's because I work in the entertainment industry, but America's Got Talent, American Idol, and the X Factor rank high on my list of intriguing reality television.  I don't think I have ever watched a full hour of any of the other reality TV shows like The Great Race or Survivor, and I have never watched more than 30 seconds of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. 

On Thursday evening's broadcast of the X Factor, a young singer, only 13 years old with a voice like an angel and the sweetest, happiest face, belted out a song with all the talent and charisma of a major recording artist on tour across the country.

What became almost unnoticeable was the young lady's condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenital, which has left her wrists and hands immobile.  We've all seen someone in our lifetime that had similar differences, but we also know that such challenges can be overcome.  And that's just what this amazing singer has done.  Her name is Rion Paige, and she stole the show from the other contestants.  She will be competing later on in the show.  I hope you'll be watching the X Factor along with me this season and that watching Rion perform will be as moving for you as it was for me. 
 
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Standing Ovation for Memphis

I have been very excited, happy, and proud to read about the many accolades that have recently been showered on our community.  Memphis is finally getting the press and recognition that it deserves, taking the place of too many negatives that historically seem to permeate the national press.  

After a thorough evaluation of the operations for any and all professional sports teams, none other than the iconic sports network ESPN announced that our own Memphis Grizzlies are now recognized as the NUMBER 1 professional sports franchise in the nation.  And not just in basketball – our Grizzlies beat every franchise in football, baseball, basketball, hockey and whatever other professional franchises there might be out there.  CONGRATS GRIZZ, I can’t wait for the next season to start.

Kevin Kane’s staff at the MCVB reported that, according to a USA TODAY readers poll regarding the top 10 best iconic tourist attractions, Memphis had the #1 "not to be missed" tourist attraction in the United States... Graceland!  We also had #3 as well: The National Civil Rights Museum.  Two in the top 3 – not bad Memphis.  They forgot about our fantastic Memphis Zoo, but that will be remedied soon when they rank the best zoos in America. 

Kerri Allen of the HUFFINGTON POST recently wrote about her trip to Memphis, and this is what she had to say: “The Memphis I returned to was not the one I’d visited in 2003.  It got a bit hipper…. Memphis is one of America’s most historic and fascinating cities: rife with history, rich with flavor and unafraid of passion in all of its many forms.”

Back on the “home front,” the Orpheum is buzzing with excitement for its forthcoming programs, projects and productions.  The staff is putting in the usual professional touch for success, be it in bringing the best in entertainment to the community or raising money to establish yet another major contribution to the community: our new Centre for Performing Arts Education, which will begin construction in January 2014.  

The recent smash hit television series AMERICA’S GOT TALENT  selected the Orpheum to be one of the show's national tour stops, presenting the 6 finalists that concluded the show's Season 8 competition.  This year’s production will be a collection of talent unlike any the Orpheum has ever brought to its stage.  This show, performing October 11th, will be an event that you won't want to miss!      
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Friday, September 20, 2013

Flashdance Is A Splash!


Last night I attended the opening night performance of FLASHDANCE, and I must tell you that it exceeded my expectations by a mile! 
 
I always thought that the show would be entertaining because I am a fan of the movie and always enjoyed the story, the choreography, and the music.  In the movie there were only a few songs because it was not originally intended to be a musical, but MANIAC and WHAT A FEELING always stuck in my head as signature songs.   

To turn the movie into a legitimate Broadway-calibur production, new music and more songs were needed.  And this musical adds 16 of them!  Sergio Trujillo, who both directed and choreographed this show, is the best choreographer in the world today.  You might remember seeing his work in the smash hit JERSEY BOYS and 2011 Tony Award winner MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL.  He is the best!

This is a fun and exciting show, and I encourage music and theatre lovers to see FLASHDANCE while you still can.  The show has 7 performances left:
  • Friday, September 20 at 8:00 PM
  • Saturday, September 21 at 2:00 PM
  • Saturday, September 21 at 8:00 PM
  • Sunday, September 22 at 1:30 PM
  • Sunday, September 22 at 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday, September 24 at 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30 PM

 
This one needs to be seen in the short time that it's here because it has a limited tour schedule before it sets its sights on Broadway.  Then you can say you saw it BEFORE it hit the Great White Way at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre!
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO
 
P.S. - Get your tickets by calling us at 901.525.3000 or visiting the Official Orpheum website at www.orpheum-memphis.com.  We'll see you there!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Flashdance the Musical Ticket Giveaway


Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, the pop culture phenomenon of FLASHDANCE will be live on the Orpheum stage September 19-25. With electrifying dance at its core, FLASHDANCE THE MUSICAL tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of Alex Owens, a Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day and a bar dancer by night with dreams of one day becoming a professional performer. When romance with her steel mill boss threatens to complicate her ambitions, Alex learns the meaning of love and its power to fuel the pursuit of her dream.

FLASHDANCE THE MUSICAL features a score that includes the biggest hit songs from the movie, including the Academy Award-winning title song "Flashdance - What a Feeling," "Maniac," "Gloria," "Manhunt," and "I Love Rock & Roll." In addition to these hits, 16 brand new songs have been written for the musical with music by Robbie Roth and lyrics by Robert Cary and Robbie Roth.

FLASHDANCE THE MUSICAL features a book by Tom Hedley (co-writer of the original screenplay), and Robert Cary with direction and choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Memphis).

To purchase tickets Click Here.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Special Thanks

We love our patrons.  All of you who attend Broadway shows, concerts, comedians, fundraising events, and even our movies hold a special place in our hearts.  I don't have to tell you that without you - our loyal audience - we simply wouldn't exist.  But today, I want to especially thank our Season Ticket Holders.

Season Ticket Holders may not realize it, but it is because of them, at least in part, that the Orpheum is able to book first-rate shows.  Yes, believe it or not, producers and booking agents consider our Season Ticket numbers when negotiating to bring their shows to Memphis.  Not to mention that our Season Ticket Holders are among our biggest cheerleaders, supporting us through two major renovations of our historic theatre, consistently donating their time and money to keep the Orpheum one of the South's greatest entertainment venues, and of course attending our shows!

Over the years we've developed many ways to show our appreciation to Season Ticket Holders.  In addition to having first pick of our best seats and performance dates at a great price, we've created a subscriber perks card that offers discounts to restaurants from all over the Memphis area.  Subscribers have the opportunity to purchase additional Broadway tickets as well as tickets to our non-Broadway shows and events before they go on sale to the public.  We offer them opportunities for discounted, pre-paid parking.  This year we were happy to give our patrons a Flex Package option over the summer, where they could (and still can for those of you who have yet to get your Season Tickets) pick and choose the shows they wanted.

We appreciate all that you do for us - Season Ticket Holders, single ticket buyers, supporters, and fans.  We always want to hear from you!  Let us know what we do right, what we can improve, and how we can continue to make your Orpheum experience the best in town.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Local LES MIS


Last week I attended a performance of LES MISERABLES at Playhouse on the Square here in Memphis, and it was fantastic!  This is one of my all-time favorites, and I have seen the show at least 30 times (I know, a little obsessive).  But I could see it 30 more and still be moved by what I believe is possibly the best Broadway musical of all time.  
 
I was expecting a good performance because Playhouse always does great work, but this production was laden with the singing and acting of a cast that could easily slide into any equity company.  I can’t say enough about the talents of this excellent team of actors.  Philip Andrew Himebook as Jean Valjean absolutely blew me away, and it is always amazing for me to see my friend Michael Detroit (who plays Javert) on the stage.  I knew Michael was incredibly talented, but in this show he hits a career high.

I heartily encourage everyone that enjoys great theatre to see LES MISERABLES at Playhouse on the Square, playing through September 15th.  But I would hurry - I wouldn't be surprised if this show sells out fast!

Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Movies, Movies, Movies

Our 2013 Orpheum Summer Movie Series was attended by over 12,000 people.  We received so many positive comments that we decided to add a short five-film mini-series to our event calendar.  Check out the five classic movies that we'll feature over the next few weeks:

An Affair to Remember               Friday, August 23  7:00 PM          
Rebel Without a Cause                Friday, August 30  7:00 PM          
King Kong (1933)                           Friday, September 6   7:00 PM
Animal House                                Friday, September 13  7:00 PM
Phantom of the Opera (2004)    Friday, September 27   7:00 PM
 
KING KONG will have a special classic movie price of just 50 cents per person!  This is just our way of thanking everyone who supported this year's series.  Of course, concessions will be at regular prices, but with all the money saved on your ticket price, you can upgrade your popcorn and soda sizes and still come out ahead. 
 
This new mini-series includes some of my own personal favorites that I wanted to share with you - our loyal patrons.  So I hope you'll take the opportunity to re-visit the days of the magical movie palace era, when there were no computers, televisions, cell phones, or any of the other devious devices that often entrap our minds and time.  Enjoy!
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Thursday, August 15, 2013

FIRST DATE


Last Thursday, I attended the opening of the new musical comedy FIRST DATE in New York.  As an investor/producer for the show, I am naturally biased, but I can honestly say that I had a great time! 
 
FIRST DATE was a very funny reminder of how we all feel on a first date, particularly the ones that don't go so well.  Zachary Levi, whom you might remember as the star of the hit television show CHUCK is one half of this hilarious opportunity to find true love.  Krista Rodriguez, who had a major role with the recent show SMASH is the other half of the kamikaze evening.  The audience loved the songs, which dealt with the feelings, thoughts, and interpretations of the events that unfolded as the night developed. 
 
Frankly, the NEW YORK TIMES was not crazy about the show, neither was USA TODAY.  But the rest of the  critics took the show at face value of it being a funny, enjoyable night at the theater.  If you have the chance to see the show, I highly recommend it!
 
I would love to hear about your dating mishaps, so if you have a funny first date story, share it below in the comments section. 
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO
 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Worthy Cause: Support Local Artists

The Orpheum’s 19th Annual Art Sale is going in a new direction this year.  After eighteen years of silent and live auctions, this year’s format will allow local artists to set up their own display space in the theatre and talk directly with potential buyers about their original work or, in some cases, limited edition prints.  Artists will offer works in watercolor, oil, acrylic, sculpture, mixed media, and photography. 

This is an exciting change to our annual event.  The auction format didn't allow artists to talk to guests about their work, and due to limited space they were often limited to bringing a three select works of art. This new approach will allow the artist exhibit the full range of their talents by displaying as many pieces as their space will allow. 

The Annual Art Sale is important to the Orpheum for many reasons.  Not only do the artists have an opportunity to sell their work and get added exposure to the Memphis community, but it's also our way of thanking Memphis artists for the support that they give the Orpheum all year round, particularly during the Orpheum's Annual Auction event in the fall.  They support us, and we want to support them!    

Equally important to us is recognizing the fabulous (and numerous)local artists that are creating works that we all should have the opportunity to enjoy.  Back in the mid-seventies, I owned an art gallery located on Second Street in Downtown Memphis.  It was called the Court Square Gallery.  At the time, I did not know anything about operating a gallery.  I had visited hundreds of galleries across the country and in Europe, but only to browse or - on occasion - as a buyer.  But soon I learned a great deal about the challenges that so many artists endure when trying to make a living  as an artist.  As a result of my personal experiences, I have always looked for ways to support the artists that give so much to their communities. 

This year's Art Sale will take place Sunday, August 11th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  There will be a small admission fee of $10 which allows patrons to enjoy a wine tasting and a few treats provided by the Corked Carrot, an exciting new wine bar located in the historic South Main District.  There will also be a cash bar for those looking to enjoy spirits of another type.  You can get your tickets at the door or in advance online or by calling Brooke Thompson at 901-529-4224.

For any Memphis artists that would like to participate, please contact Brooke Thompson for more details.   

I hope to see you there,

Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Friday, July 19, 2013

Memphis Healthcare: Something To Be Proud Of


OKAY, HERE'S A QUESTION FOR YOU...
 
I have a rare condition that I share with actress Kate Bosworth called Heterochromia Iridium.  What are the characteristics or identifiable indications of this condition?  The first 5 people who comment below with the correct answer will win 4 tickets to one of the Orpheum's 2013 Summer Movies.

The fantastic reputation and service that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital provides for very ill children from around the world is well known.  Le Bonheur Children's Hospital is also famous for extending service and medical care for our young people and greatly enhances the level of care that Memphis offers its kids.

Methodist HealthcareBaptist Memorial HospitalThe MED, and Saint Francis Hospital help to make up Memphis' many broad-based healthcare institutions, providing excellent service for the entire Mid-South Community. 

When we weigh the city's commitment to healthcare, we find that educating our future health care providers is another major strength.  The University of Tennessee Health Science Center churns out doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare professionals in almost every imaginable area of service.  The Southern College of Optometry is one of less than a half dozen institutes that sends Doctors of Optometry all over the nation to help those in need.  Nearly all of our local Community Colleges and Universities have programs that feed the need for healthcare professionals.    

The Church Health Center has created a model for providing health care for thousands of working class individuals that do not have any form of health insurance.  Dr. Scott Morris is a national treasure for what he has created in Memphis, and his ideas are being implemented all over the country.  Yes, the creative ideas of Danny Thomas and Dr. Scott Morris that have indeed made huge impacts on the world.  And those ideas were born right here in Memphis.   

This week I had the opportunity to explore yet another highly rated health service facility: The Hamilton Eye Institute, a division of UT Health Science Center, on Madison Avenue.  WOW!  Eye-care is at its finest within those walls, and it has 7 clinics located throughout the immediate region.  It is ranked in the top 10 nationally  for various and numerous services. 

Don't worry: my eyes had a good report!  But my recent visit to my new Ophthalmologist, Dr. James C. Flemming, just reminded me how lucky we are to have such great medical care available to us.  Healthcare is one more area where our community’s many great strengths and positive contributions have truly made an International impact.  We really need to take pride in what Memphis means to healthcare.  We are right up there with the country's leading institutions when it comes to this important part of who we are.

 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO  

 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Now Showing: The Orpheum Theatre, or Should I Say MALCO?

The Orpheum’s annual Summer Movie Series gives us the opportunity to revisit the glory days of the classic movie palaces of old, which was the original purpose for the Orpheum when it was rebuilt in 1928: to be a palatial venue for movies and Vaudeville.  At that time movies were silent and colorless but, as technology advanced, movies quickly grew into one of America's most popular forms of entertainment.

In those days there was no television, no iPads, iPods, or iPhones, and the word "Apple" only referred to the fruit that caused Adam and Eve to get the boot.

In 1940 M.A. Lightman bought the Orpheum for $75,000, a price that would not even cover this year's utility bill.  The theatre's name was changed to MALCO, and it became the company's flagship headquarters amidst its chain of theatres throughout the region.  
 
For the next 35 years the Orpheum was the place to go to see first run movies.  But that all changed  when multiplex theatre operations moved out to the suburbs.  I blame Adam and Eve for that as well.

In 1983 the old “Grande Dame” was given a much needed facelift to accommodate Broadway, Concerts, Opera, and Ballet.  These new  productions may have moved the movie business to the backburner, but we never forgot our roots, and we continue to show movies every summer out of respect for our place in Memphis movie history.

It's a real thrill to come to the Orpheum and get a box of popcorn, a soft drink - or a cocktail - and see GONE WITH THE WIND on the big screen, as it was intended.  People often ask me why we always show GONE WITH THE WIND, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, and other annual classics.  I guess it’s just because some things - no matter how old - will never die.  Yes, we always throw shows like THE BIG LEBOWSKI, ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, and HARRY POTTER into the mix for those looking for something more modern, and in many ways these movies are classics in their own right.   

For a couple of hours on a Thursday or Friday night, it is fun to sit back with your Milk Duds and popcorn and experience what our parents and grandparents felt when they visited the MALCO that is now the majestic Orpheum Theatre - back when life was less complicated.
 
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO