Thursday, February 27, 2014

The other day, I was reminiscing about my time as President of The Orpheum Theatre.  I was trying to remember all that has happened in the past 33 years, all that time spent in the same office with the same responsibilities. 
When you get to my age you need a lot of help finding the facts - the accuracies of the memories.  But even with the haze of memory lane, I know I've been incredibly fortunate.  How many people can say they have dined with the legendary Cary Grant?  How many can say that they've worked with Gregory Peck, Tony Bennett, Yul Brenner, Jerry Seinfeld, Carol Channing, Tom Petty, Jay Leno, or Johnny Mathis?

I could go on dropping names, but the fact of this is that they didn’t come to Memphis to see me.  They came to Main and Beale to perform for you at the iconic Orpheum Theatre.  Thirty-three years into my career at the Orpheum and I can’t recall all of the fabulous shows, the great people, or the special events, but I do know this: with the recent run of WICKED, the Orpheum and the Memphis Development Foundation have welcomed approximately 275 Broadway engagements to Memphis, equaling over 2,000 performances.  I am very proud of those numbers.

The Orpheum is fortunate to have a staff of very talented  individuals with an exemplary commitment to detail in everything we do.  They make me look good.  We are honored to have a fantastic Board of Directors that is immensely generous with their time and financial support, hundreds of dedicated FOTO volunteers, and last but not least the generous sponsors, donors and patrons that allow us to keep moving forward with success.    
The great memories certainly pile up after 33 years, and you have helped make them possible.  Thank you!
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO   

Monday, February 17, 2014

WAR HORSE Gallops to the Orpheum

WAR HORSE - the Orpheum's next Broadway production performing March 25 through 30 - is a stage presentation like no other.  The play follows the heart-warming story of a boy, Albert, and his horse Joey.  When these two friends are separated by World War I, each goes on the adventure of his life in order to reunite.
Originally a book by Michael Morpurgo, WAR HORSE was later made into a Broadway play that had a very successful run at the Lincoln Centre in New York, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Play.  Lastly, this captivating story story was picked up by director and producer Stephen Spielberg, and the resulting film was nominated for six Academy Awards.  Now this magnificent production is touring the country, and it will make its Memphis premier at the Orpheum Theatre. 

Absolutely everyone should see this magical production.  It is astounding.  This drama takes audiences on a historical journey with a level of creativity that, arguably, we haven't seen since PETER PAN and THE LION KING.  Joey the War Horse isn't a real horse of course, but this life-sized puppet will have you in complete awe.  From the moment you see Joey for the first time, your imagination will have you convinced that Joey could have been a Kentucky Derby contender.  But don't take my word for it.  You have to see Joey for yourself in order to fully understand how amazing Joey - and this is incredible show - really is!
Pat Halloran
Orpheum President and CEO