Thursday, June 26, 2014

Feeling Lucky? Try THE BOOK OF MORMON Lottery

Mark Evans
THE BOOK OF MORMON First National Tour
(c) Joan Marcus, 2013
They week we've all been waiting for is finally here!  The Tony Award winning musical phenomenon The Book of Mormon is in Memphis for a limited engagement through Sunday, June 29th. 

Don't have tickets?  You're in luck!  Well, hopefully.  The Book of Mormon offers a special ticket lottery policy that allows winning entrants to purchase up to two tickets for $25 each (cash only). 

No crazy antics required: just show up at the Orpheum Box Office two and a half hours before any performance with cash and ID in-hand, and print your name and the number of tickets you'd like (1 or 2) on an entry form.  Each person gets one entry, and we'll be checking for duplicates so no cheating.  At two hours before the show, we'll draw a limited number of winners.  Those lucky winning fans will flash their ID, purchase up to two tickets, and skip into the theatre happy as can be.

A few tips and reminders:
  • Be punctual.  We follow the schedule so it's fair for everyone. 
  • Stay put after entering!  You must be present to win.
  • Don't forget your cash.  Lottery tickets are cash only.
  • Remember your ID.  This is how we make sure that you're the real winner!
  • No cheating.  One entry per person per lottery.  Cheaters get caught.
  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  There are six more performances for The Book of Mormon before the end of the run: that's six lotteries!
Please access the official press release here for all of the rules, regulations, and restrictions.

For those of you don't want to take any chances, there are still some tickets available for this engagement, but they are going fast so act now by calling the Orpheum Box Office at 901.525.3000 or visit the official Orpheum website at

THE BOOK OF MORMON, Now through June 29
From South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it's The Book of Mormon, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical.  Ben Brantley of The New York Times calls it "The best musical of this century."  Entertainment weekly says it's "The funniest musical of all time."  Jon Stewart of The Daily Show calls it "A crowning achievement.  So good it makes me angry."  For more information, please visit  Disclaimer: Contains explicit language.

Thursday, June 26, 2014  7:30 PM, lottery begins at 5:00 PM
Friday, June 27, 2014  8:00 PM, lottery begins at 5:30 PM
Saturday, June 28, 2014  2:00 PM, lottery begins at 11:30 AM
Saturday, June 28, 2014  8:00 PM, lottery begins at 5:30 PM
Sunday, June 29, 2014  1:00 PM, lottery begins at 10:30 AM
Sunday, June 29, 2014  6:00 PM, lottery begins at 3:30 PM

The Orpheum Theatre is located at 203 S. Main Street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Wild Ride from Broadway to Beale: The Show

requested show, is finally on tour again!
We all love that special kind of excitement that comes when you're sitting in your favorite Orpheum seat, the orchestra starts up, the curtain begins to rise, and you know you're in for a great night of entertainment.  But have you ever wondered what's going on behind the scenes?  Where are these people from?  Where are they going?  How in the world did they get here?!

Well, the obvious answer to that last question is by bus or by plane.  But periodically, we're going to dig a little deeper to give you an insider's look into the many steps a show takes to go from Broadway to opening night at the Orpheum.  For this entry, we'll take a look at your favorite part: the show.

If you caught The Tony's a couple of weeks ago, you might of thought that those fabulous performances were meant to let everyone know why these musicals were so deserving of their nominations.  Maybe, but that's not the only reason.  Broadway is a commercial enterprise, and those jaw-dropping performances help to entice audiences to buy a ticket and keep the shows firmly established on Broadway - it's much more economically sound to keep a production on Broadway than it is to start a production on Broadway.  But more importantly for venues like The Orpheum, those performances gave people a taste of what they can expect to see when the show hits their city.

FIRST DATE can now be licensed by theatres worldwide,
but you might not see it at touring venues just yet.
Most popular, award-winning Broadway musicals will usually give it a go on the road.  Others will do some serious soul-searching before touring: producers can take the musical on tour and hope for profits, or they can cut any Broadway losses they may have and move on to the next big thing. 

For example, Main and Beale explored a show called First Date late last year.  The show closed a little early and sadly didn't get much Tony buzz.  It's unlikely that this adorable exploration of first-date pitfalls and pleasures will be seen on the Broadway touring circuit.  But you might have an opportunity to enjoy this delightful show at your nearby regional and community theatres.  Of course, there's also a chance that an independent producer could license the material and launch a tour on his or her own.

Once the decision has been made to take a show on tour, the next challenge is to book it!  A show will buddy-up with a booking agent, and the agent will begin the long, confusing, and challenging mission of putting together a tour. 

It's not as simple as calling up a theatre and saying, "Have I got the show for you!"  Booking agents have to consider the tour route ("I don't think I can move a full-scale production from Seattle on Sunday and be ready for opening night in Memphis on Tuesday."), the theatre's schedule and availability ("I already have something scheduled for that week.  Do you have any openings in November?"), and they have to balance this among the 200+ venues that might be interested in booking the show ("Let me call San Diego and see if they can push back their engagement so we can fit you in.  I'll get right back to you!").

It's a seemingly impossible puzzle, but somehow they get it done, and the tour is officially on!  Now that the show is "sold" to venues, the producers have to deliver the product.  The creative team has to think through how to translate the production from Broadway to the road.  The show has to be flexible since some venues might have smaller stages or, in some cases, fewer amenities than others.  They have to figure out how to build a set that is comparable to Broadway but that can be taken down and re-built week after week.  They have a laundry list of people to hire: cast members, company managers, stage managers, orchestra members, stage hands, wardrobe supervisors and more.  Finally, this dream team begins the rehearsal process in its "launch city," fine tuning the show in every possible way. 

MEMPHIS The Musical's 1st National Tour
launched from The Orpheum Theatre. Now MEMPHIS
is headed to London!
We are very proud of the fact that Memphis The Musical launched it's first national tour from the Orpheum Theatre.  The cast and crew spent weeks getting the everything just right.  Then, the show played in its namesake city for several weeks before going on to visit 55 cities!

It's no secret that the show is the most important part of any tour.  Of course, any show needs a lot of support to maintain that beautiful production that audiences cheer for every night, and we'll tell you more about that next time when we discuss our largely invisible but all-important partner: the theatrical agent. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Flyer Flying for 25 Years

In 1989, the Orpheum offered six Broadway shows to the public: Me and My Girl, My One and Only, My Fair Lady, Les Miserables, Evita, The King and I, and Driving Miss Daisy.  And that same year, The Memphis Flyer published its first edition.

The Orpheum is thrilled to congratulate The Memphis Flyer on 25 years of enthralling stories, in-depth news and entertainment coverage, and an all-around great read week after week.  Achieving such a milestone is no easy feat, and we offer a hearty "thank you" to the visionaries who saw that a publication as dynamic as The Memphis Flyer was - and continues to be - needed in Memphis. 

Each week we excitedly pick up the latest edition of The Flyer, knowing that we're in store for enlightening and pertinent stories and exclusives; a lesson in all things "Memphis" - old, new, and revived; great entertainment features and reviews; and few laughs in between.

Of course, theatre has always enjoyed a big presence in the paper whether it's a review of Playhouse on the Square's newest main-stage play, updates on the new Hattiloo Theatre, Ballet Memphis' technological innovations, or a feature on the next blockbuster Broadway show at The Orpheum.  And any good Flyer reader knows that its "Steppin' Out" section and impeccable events calendar are among the best places to find out what's happening in and around the city for all things music, film, food, and theatre.  For that, in addition to all of the information that you bring to your readers, we are all incredibly grateful.

So, from The Orpheum to The Flyer, congratulations on a wonderful and successful 25 years, and thank you for all that you do to help make Memphis a vibrant and thriving theatre community! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Top 5 Reasons to Watch The Tony's

The biggest night on Broadway is finally here, and we have the top five reasons why you should tune in to CBS on Sunday, June 8th at 8/7c for the 68th Annual Tony Awards!

#5 Hugh Jackman
Wolverine and Jean Valjean rolled into one talented host?  There's really no more to be said.

#4 Tony Ballot Battle
Some of the most fun that viewers can have watching an awards show is predicting who will win.  Even more fun is guessing better than everyone else.  Gather your friends, fill out your Tony ballots, and let the competition begin!  Need a printable ballot for your Tony watch party?  Click here.

#3 "Where Stars Align"
There's a reason why this is the Tony tagline.  Denzel Washington, James Franco, Chris O'Dowd, Idina Menzel, Neil Patrick Harris, Brian Cranston, Tyne Daly, Tony Shalhoub, and Zach Braff were just some of the huge Hollywood names that appeared on Broadway this year.  This year's red carpet is going to light up with stars for a night that we won't soon forget!

#2 Encore Please!
Most of us can't head over to the Big Apple every time we'd like to see a Broadway musical, so the Tony's bring the Great White Way right into your living room.  Viewers will enjoy numbers from some of the most beloved shows of the year, making the Tony's a delectable musical appetizer to help tide you over in between Broadway visits.

And the number one reason why you should tune in to the Tony's is...

You might just see a Tony Award winning show on the Orpheum stage!

Many Tony nominated and Tony Award winning shows will decide to take their productions out on the road, and these shows could make a stop in Memphis!  The Tony's are the perfect opportunity to stay informed about what's hot in the theatre world.  Watch the performances and make note of your favorite productions so that you can be sure to catch the show if it comes to town.

Catch the Tony's this Sunday on CBS.  After the awards, come back to this blog and comment on your favorite numbers, post about unforgettable Tony moments, and brag about your winning ballot predictions.  From the Orpheum to all the Tony nominees: break a leg!