Thursday, June 20, 2013

An Evening with Cary Grant

Tonight, the Orpheum will feature "The Philadelphia Story" in our Summer Movie Series, which stars one Hollywood’s greatest actors and my dear friend Cary Grant.

I always enjoy seeing him on the big screen, but I’ll never forget getting to know him as a person.  I remember fondly that he came to the Orpheum Theatre for a one-night performance of “A Conversation with Cary Grant.”  The evening began with a short film about Grant, his leading ladies, and his achievements.  Afterwards, he took the stage for a question-and-answer session and received a standing ovation.  He was 83 years old at the time.

One of the joys of my position here at the Orpheum is the opportunity to meet some of our most treasured guests, and I was fortunate enough to establish a relationship with Cary that would last until he passed away a year later.  Cary and his beautiful wife Barbara stayed in Memphis a total of three days.  Together we visited Paulette’s for lunch, Chez Philippe for dinner, and took a long walk through Goldsmith’s Gardens.  He thought Memphis was a charming city, but the compliment that I will always cherish was when Cary Grant himself came out on the Orpheum stage and said, “My, this is a beautiful theatre.”
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO

Thursday, June 13, 2013

KINKY BOOTS Wins the Big One!

Cyndi Lauper accepts one of KINKY BOOTS' six Tony Awards.
There are 26 awards given out each year at the biggest night on Broadway: the Tonys.  Shows pay as much as $250,000 just to perform during the event, and if your show is up for Best Musical or Best Play, you should consider this quarter of a million as the best marketing money you will ever spend!  Hopefully, you'll get a national audience interested in buying tickets when the tour comes to their city.

Sunday night was the best produced Tony Award production in recent years.  It was entertaining, funny, and the Orpheum’s investment in KINKY BOOTS got a very important shot in the arm.  KINKY, God love it, won the Best Musical Tony Award for 2013. 

Best Musical is the highest honor a show can receive because more people attend musical productions in New York than anywhere in the nation, and these theatre goers come from all over the world.  So to win Best Musical means that KINKY BOOTS has the most interest from solid theatre fans as well as those that linger on the periphery.  In case you're behind on your Broadway, KINKY BOOTS is an adaptation of the movie by the same name filmed in England around 2005.  The story was great, some music was added, and low and behold you have a Tony winner!

I am adding this fabulous show to my Holiday New York Theatre tour next November.   I think that this Christmas, everyone will enjoy being a little “Kinky.” 

Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO


Thursday, June 6, 2013


Tony time is upon us!  The award show will air this Sunday on CBS, and as a TONY voter, I want to make a few predictions.  

For the top award, Best Musical of the year, I am pulling for KINKY BOOTS.  I must admit that the Orpheum invested in this production, so my enthusiasm may be a "wee bit" biased.  The show's main competition will come from MATILDA, which recently opened in NYC after a very successful run in London.  While MATILDA might win, I voted for KINKY.  Maybe that tells you something about me...

In the play division, the competition for best actor is hard to predict.  Nathan Lane, the perennial Broadway star, is in the lead because his performance in THE NANCE was so intense.  Some say that this is his best work in years.  Tom Hanks made his Broadway debut in LUCKY GUY and is certainly a strong contender, but I think the TONY AWARD voters (of which there are about 900) will most likely go with Lane.  I voted for Hanks not only because I thought he gave a performance worthy of the recognition, but - admittedly - I also like it when Broadway lures stars off the big screen to Great White Way.   
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO