Thursday, May 23, 2013

BACK FROM THE BIG APPLE

It’s Tony Award voting time for me, and during my recent trip to New York I saw 5 different Tony nominated productions.  KINKY BOOTS, a musical adapted from the movie released in 2005, was probably my favorite so far.  The Orpheum is an investor for this show, so naturally I hope it does well.

The next show that caught my attention was PIPPIN, a musical that - until now - was never one of my favorites.  But this production is fast-paced and takes on a CIRQUE DU SOLEIL type of setting.  Though it doesn't quite match up to KINKY BOOTS, I couldn't help but enjoy this production. 
The Broadway Production of PIPPIN: Photo by Joan Marcus
MOTOWN, the story of Barry Gordy, who nurtured an impressive list of superstars: such as Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five, The Supremes, The Temptations, and The Tops, was a great trip down memory lane since these were the groups I listened to back in the day.  This musical is a concert with a thin story line.

In the play category, I was greatly impressed with David Hyde Pierce in VANYA and SONIA and MASHA and SPIKE.   Pierce does a rant toward the end of the 2nd Act that should garner him a Tony Award for best performance in a play.  Unfortunately, the name of this play might be its undoing, because - as we learned in Lysistrata Jones - if the name is too difficult to remember, it will receive "zilch" in the word of mouth campaign.  Next week, I'll head back to New York to see RETURN TO BOUNTIFUL, and I look forward to telling you about that experience.

Regarding my other favorite NYC pastime, which is trying to work my way through the 18,781 restaurants in the City, I would like to say that Bobby Flay’s new Bar Americain on West 52nd is a fabulous stop if you happen to be in town.  

Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The 4th Annual High School Musical Theatre Awards




The HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THEATRE AWARDS (HSMTA) is one of the Orpheum's best productions.  We always hear about how much talent there is in our City and the surrounding areas, but HSMTA proves the point.  It all starts with 2,000 Mid-South high school students and their annual school musical productions.  Students compete with public, private, parochial, and county schools from West Tennessee, Northern Mississippi, and Eastern Arkansas for the title of BEST HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, among many other prestigious awards.

This year 24 schools are vying for 27 awards.  I can’t think of anything the Orpheum does that is more important than this program.  There will be 250 students performing on the Orpheum stage throughout the evening, and I am sure that everyone of them will remember the night they performed at the historic Orpheum Theatre.  The professional creative team for this year includes Director Teddy Eck, Choreographer Jared Johnson, and Music Director Scott Sturtervant, who will compose original music for the event.

The event is Thursday May 23rd, and I sincerely hope you will consider attending this year’s award presentation.  Call us at 901.525.3000: you will not be sorry.  

Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The 2013-14 Season: Give Broadway to Moms, Dads, and Graduates




Our next big Broadway Season is the best line up that we have ever assembled.

When you have two Tony® Award winning shows like WAR HORSE and BOOK OF MORMON, you already have a great start to a fabulous season.  But it only gets better when you add to those the new never-before-seen on-stage musical adaptation of FLASHDANCE.  Also included this season is BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY; the classic WEST SIDE STORY; SISTER ACT: A DIVINE MUSICAL COMEDY; WICKED, which is offered as an option this year; and a new re-staging of THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, featuring all the show stopping tunes from his amazing collection of Broadway hits like PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and CATS. 

Season packages are now available, and the amazing thing is you can see seven shows in the downstairs orchestra section for $300 if you choose a weeknight - a mere fraction of what you would pay for these shows on Broadway.  We also provide an easy payment plan; swap-a-show for those who may not be interested in BOOK OF MORMON, for example, due to its subject matter; and or you can drop or add WICKED.

I cannot think of another series that would provide the variety or entertainment value that this season has to offer.  I encourage you to learn more by calling 901-525-3000 or visiting www.orpheum-memphis.com, and I look forward to seeing you often in the 2013-14 season!

Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Thursday, May 2, 2013


MEMPHIS Shines Bright with Orpheum Stars

Pat Halloran, Joe DiPietro, David Bryan,
Lexi Bryan, and Kevin Kane on the
Orpheum "Sidewalk of Stars"
This past weekend the Orpheum welcomed back the Tony® Award winning hit, MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL, and it was a week we will not soon forget!  

This was the musical's final stint at the Orpheum before the national tour comes to a close, which meant a lot to me personally.   As a producer, investor, and huge fan of the show about my adopted home town, there is simply no way to describe the feeling of seeing our city portrayed on the Orpheum stage.  But this particular run of MEMPHIS was made particularly  special by two very special visitors: the Tony® Award winning writing duo David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, who both received stars on the Orpheum's "Sidewalk of Stars" for their contributions to MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL and to our city.

Having my friends David Bryan, who most may know as keyboardist and founding member of Bon Jovi, in town for the weekend with his co-creator Joe DiPietro was nothing short of a thrill.  On Saturday, April 27, David and Joe were honored with a star unveiling in front of the theatre as well as a special on-stage presentation following the Saturday evening performance of MEMPHIS.  Then, an already perfect day was made better when David Bryan sang the new anthem  of our city, Memphis Lives in Me on the Orpheum stage.  In the short time that David was here, he even took a moment to entertain over 16,000 Grizzlies fans during the halftime show at Saturday's Playoff game (where, I might add, the Grizzlies trounced the Clippers).   What a weekend to highlight such a fabulous show about our City!

Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO