Welcome to The 2703, the brand new Hollywood Pantages Blog. One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “How many seats are in the theatre?” The answer to that question and the name of our blog is 2,703. It’s that kind of insider knowledge we want to share with you! Have you ever wondered what happens at the Hollywood Pantages while you’re not here? We want to peak your curiosity, take you behind the scenes, into rehearsal rooms, and out into Hollywood. We want to give back to our audiences that fill The 2703 every performance.
We live in a world full of spoilers. Haven’t watched the latest episode of the most popular T.V. show? You better steer clear of social media. Haven’t seen the latest Star Wars movie? You might as well lock yourself in your house because the spoilers are waiting for you!
So what about Broadway musicals? Do the same “no spoilers” rules apply here? Most people have access to the cast album before they even see a show. So the question becomes, do you listen to the cast album before you see it?
We asked the Hollywood Pantages staff to take a quick poll. It became pretty clear to us that people are very passionate about this issue. We’ve broken down their arguments into a for and against list. Where do you stand?
I listen to the cast album before I see a show arguments:
- I like to know what I am getting myself into.
- I like to go into the show knowing the songs so I can take in the many other elements of the show, not just focus on what is happening. I am also obsessed with Broadway musicals and am very familiar with a large chunk of them.
- If I like the music enough, it determines if I would watch the show. I wouldn’t want to waste money on something I wouldn’t enjoy.
- It’s better to know how the story line for example in Hamilton it’s mostly rap and sometimes it’s pretty hard to follow through what they are saying live and you’ll miss out what else is going on since there is so much happening on stage also sometimes the audience won’t stop applauding and some will miss out on what was said.
I prefer to wait until I’ve seen the show before I listen to the cast album
- I want to be able to experience the show without comparing it to the original
- I just like to go in surprised when I hear it for the first time. Plus I like to put the blocking with songs and have the story all together
- I prefer to be fully immersed in a show with out spoilers.
- Because I won’t judge the performance beforehand if I don’t know about it
Let us know where you stand. To take our anonymous poll, CLICK HERE
Chicken and Waffles. Do I have your attention? No? How about, Truffle Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque? Who doesn’t love some good comfort food? Our friends across the street at Wood and Vine have a delicious new menu that you just have to try.
WARNING: THE PHOTOS BELOW MAY INDUCE EXTREME HUNGER AND CRAVINGS!
August 16, 2017 started out as most days do here at the Hollywood Pantages with the exception of the line that began to form at 2am that morning. Even though the hour was early, they all came with hopeful smiles and the best collection of Hamilton gear this side of the Mississippi. What were they waiting for you ask? Later that day a lottery would be held for forty $10 tickets to the official opening night of Hamilton and the first and only performance of #Ham4Ham in Los Angeles.
Those that lined up early were treated to a special surprise by Lin-Manuel Miranda who stopped by to check out the line. The video below is courtesy of Sarah Dizon who told us that Lin ran across the street to say hello and to take some photos with excited fans.
Shortly before noon, lottery entry forms were passed out to those waiting in line. In about 30 minutes nearly 1,500 people had entered for their chance to win a $10 ticket to the show.
— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) August 16, 2017
Once their names had been entered, fans eagerly awaited the #Ham4Ham performance. The crowd spilled out onto a temporarily closed Hollywood Blvd. Fans cheered with excitement, sang lyrics from the show, and even gave one 11 year old boy a birthday he would never forget.
Then the moment they had all been waiting for had arrived. An energetic Lin-Manuel Miranda jumped onto the stage as the crowd cheered. Watch the entire #Ham4Ham performance below.
For more information about how you can enter the digital lottery for Hamilton in Los Angeles download the Official Hamilton App on your mobile device (HamiltonBroadway.com/app) or go online to Lucky Seats.
Have you ever seen those little square slips of white paper in your playbill? “The role of the man will be played by (insert actor’s name).” Most of us don’t pay much attention to these little pieces of paper unless it’s one of the lead roles. After all, those are the characters your eye tends to focus on the most right? Performing a show 8 times a week can be hard on an actor’s body and vocal chords. We all need a break every now and then simply to take care of ourselves. This is why there are always understudy, swing, and standby actors within each company ready to step in. The show must go on!
So what are the differences between an understudy, swing, and a standby?
Understudy– is a regular member of the cast, usually in the chorus, and who can also play one of the leading roles. Actors affectionately refer to an understudy’s first time on stage as “shove with love,” when the other performers gently guide the newbie, making sure they hit all their marks. Being an understudy can be difficult. People have paid money to come see the star so when they see another name on the board in the lobby it can be frustrating. An understudy must charm them immediately.
Standby– This performer does not appear in the show each night but is there specifically to cover a major role typically played by the star. The standby often signs in before a performance at the stage door, sticks around to make sure the star enters stage left, then hangs out in the green room or stays in a 10-block vicinity of the theatre, a cell-phone call away.
Swing– The job of a swing is to arrive at the theatre every day, ready to perform at a moment’s notice any of the tracks (roles) that he or she covers. Some swing actors can learn as many as 14 different tracks for one show. This means these actors play a different role each time they step on stage and sometimes two different roles in a single day. It’s common for swings to watch the show from the back of the theatre when they aren’t performing. If you ever see someone taking notes during a performance he or she might be a swing!
Walking into the Hollywood Pantages it’s easy to get distracted by the beautiful marquee and the vertical blade above it spelling out Pantages in neon lights, but have you ever taken a moment to look down? Chances are you have caught a glimpse of the black and salmon pink sidewalk honoring individuals who are nothing short of great.
According to The Hollywood Walk of Fame, on August 15, 1958, the Chamber and City unveiled eight stars on Hollywood Blvd. at Highland Avenue to create excitement and to demonstrate what the Walk of Fame would look like. The eight honorees included: Olive Borden, Ronald Colman, Louise Fazenda, Preston Foster, Burt Lancaster, Edward Sedgwick, Ernest Torrence, and Joanne Woodward. On February 8, 1960, construction actually began on the long-planned Walk of Fame. The first star to be laid in the new Walk was that of Stanley Kramer on March 28, 1960, near the intersection of Hollywood and Gower. By that fall, work had progressed far enough that it was decided to dedicate the Walk on November 23, 1960, in conjunction with the Hollywood Christmas Parade. To this day, The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an internationally-recognized Hollywood icon.
On January 22nd the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced it’s Walk of Fame Class of 2018. Check out the video to see who’s getting their star!
Does your favorite celebrity have a star? The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce website makes it very easy to find out. Start by CLICKING HERE. This page will give you the option to look up your favorite celeb’s name using the search function or allow you to scroll through the entire list alphabetically. Your search will bring up a full profile on each star including location of the star, full bio, star photo, and a ceremony video.
If you have never been to a Star Ceremony, check out the videos below. Next time you are in front of the theatre try to spot their stars.
For more information about the Hollywood Walk of fame visit their website: www.walkoffame.com
On Monday, June 26th Kevin Clay from The Book of Mormon touring cast represented the Hollywood Pantages by singing the National Anthem at the Dodger game. See it here!
Each year we bring more than 30 high schools together to celebrate theatre arts education. See some of our favorite Jerry Herman Award Moments of 2017
Opening Number Rehearsals
Each participating school sends on male and one female participant to the Jerry Herman Awards to audition for the Best Actor/Actress category. In addition, these participants perform the opening number the night of the award show.
Jerry Herman Awards Night
The night of the show the Best Actor/Actress participants open the show and are immediately narrowed down to 6 finalists. From there, finalists perform one more time in front of our judges. The judges then select two winners move on to the Jimmy Awards competition in NYC. In addition to the 6 finalists’ solos, 12 category awards given away and a few schools are asked to perform a number from their production.
On Monday, June 5 the 6th Annual Jerry Herman Awards took the stage at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. This year a total of 37 schools submitted their productions for consideration. Congratulations to all of the winners.
Milken Community Schools- Les Miserables
Diamond Bar High School- In the Heights
The Archer School for Girls- The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Mira Costa High School- Oklahoma!
Saugus High School- Fiddler on the Roof
Providence High School- The Addams Family
New Roads High School- In the Heights
Saugus High School- Fiddler on the Roof
Chaminade College Preparatory- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: Carter Skyers “Mitch Mahoney”
Oaks Christian School- Cinderella: Jake Mouchawar “Sebastian”
Palos Verdes Peninsula High School-The Music Man: Lucas Grenda “Marcellus Wasburn”
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts- A Chorus Line: Shaila Essley “Shelia”
“No Small Parts”
New Roads School- In the Heights: Caleb McGee “Piragua Guy”
Crescenta Valley High School – Phantom of the Opera: Cameron Vargas “The Phantom”
John Burroughs High School – Pippin: Brighton Thomas “The Leading Player”
Mira Costa High School-Oklahoma!
Hello! I am Shellyn Liska, and I have been interning for the Marketing Department at The Hollywood Pantages since April. I just completed my second year as a Communication student at Cal Poly Pomona. I have been a fan of the Pantages since I was a child, and the opportunity I have been given as an intern has been nothing short of a dream come true for me.
Whenever I tell someone that I intern at the Pantages, I always get asked what I do. No two days have been the same during my time here, and I have loved the variation of the tasks that I have been given. I have kept a journal and recorded everything that I have done throughout my internship. Here is a little taste of what a marketing intern takes part in at the Pantages:
Festival of Books: Each year, USC has a festival presented by the LA Times that showcases arts and literature in the Los Angeles area. The Hollywood Pantages has participated for a few years, and has an informational booth set up at the festival. Our booth this year was incredible, we had a television screen playing a loop of shows that are coming to the theatre soon, free water and tote bags to give away, and the actual magic lamp prop used in Disney’s Aladdin for visitors to take photos with. The marketing department coordinates the booth, and with the help of a few ushers, works at the booth during the two-day festival. I attended and worked on the second day, and I had a great time. The festival was conveniently one week before Hamilton tickets went on sale, so we answered lots of questions on how to successfully get tickets for the very popular show. It was an exhausting, but fun day of interacting with different people and being able to be a face of the Pantages.
The Hamilton On-Sale: On Sunday, April 30th Hamilton tickets went on sale. We were prepared for a large crowd at the box office. After meetings and discussions, we figured out how to best accommodate a lot of people. I arrived right at 6 a.m. and saw a giant line as I turned the corner on Hollywood Blvd. Some people waited in line more than 8 hours to get their hand on tickets. I assisted our restaurant partners on passing out samples and menus of their food as well as walked over to other restaurant partners to let them know that we had a large event happening and asked if they wanted to capitalize on it. I also spent some time in the box office, and witnessed the madness and excitement first hand.
The Bodyguard Opening Night: May 2nd was the red carpet premiere of The Bodyguard, starring Deborah Cox. I spent a lot of my time in the office working toward this night, sending out media and celebrity invitations and keeping track of RSVP’s. I had to keep running lists of who was coming, and create tip sheets and face-plates for the media to use as their guide to the celebrities. In this 12-hour day of work and anticipation, I had to constantly update my celebrity and media lists, as well as prepare tickets for each VIP guest. When the red carpet began, it was instant madness. I worked the VIP podium with one of the other marketing managers, and we gave out tickets to celebrities and media people. The two hours of the red carpet flew by, and only felt like 15 minutes by the end of it. It was a rewarding feeling at the end when the show started and our work for the night was done.
Press Day with Deborah Cox: A few days after The Bodyguard opening night, I was invited to join Deborah Cox for a press day. We took a car to FOX LA studios and she filmed an interview for Good Day LA. We were on the news set and met the anchors and other employees of Fox who were very welcoming and kind. After that, we went over to The Wave, a jazz and R&B radio station in LA where Deborah gave another interview. Even though I was only there to observe, at the beginning of the day, Deborah handed me her phone and asked me to do her social media for her throughout the day and that she wanted to keep her followers updated on what her press ventures were for the day. I was taken aback, but thrilled with the opportunity. I wrote her Instagram captions and created her Snapchat story for her all day, and she told me she loved what I had done and that I did a great job. This was probably one of my favorite experiences from the internship.
The 6th Annual Jerry Herman Awards: The bulk of my internship has been focused on the preparation and production of The Jerry Herman Awards that took place on June 5th, 2017. The Jerry Herman Awards is an award show that showcases the talented high school students of Los Angeles County. This year, 37 schools submitted their productions, and 54 students competed in the Best Actor/Actress category. I watched the DVDs of each show, helped calculate the adjudicators’ scores, brainstormed ideas for the Opening Number, and assisted in coordinating the Best Actor/Actress auditions. During the actual award show, I stood in the wings and prepared the envelopes and trophies for our host, George Pennacchio to hand over to the winners. The preparation of this event is substantial, but nothing was more rewarding than seeing hundreds of high school students excited about their craft and getting closer to their dreams.
If you are starting out your career and want to see what path is best for you, there is no better experience out there than interning. Working purely for experience has its perks, and to get something out of the internship you have to put the proper effort and time in. I will take what I have learned over the course of my internship with me into whatever career path I choose to follow, and I am so thankful to the Marketing Department for this opportunity!
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of announcements about live musical television events. These events have become quite popular over the last few years. Millions of people tune in at the same moment to experience these live events together. We decided to compile a list of all the newly announced productions.
FOX has announced a live musical production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-, Grammy Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical RENT. Acclaimed film, television and theater producer Marc Platt (GREASE: LIVE, “La La Land,” “Wicked”), along with the estate of writer/composer Jonathan Larson, will executive-produce the event. Additional details and auspices to be announced.
A Christmas Story
The production, which will air this December, will be based on the Broadway musical version of the beloved film of the same name. Marc Platt, who previously collaborated with Fox on “Grease: Live,” will executive produce along with Adam Siegel, with Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary co-executive producing and writing. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, recent Tony Award nominees for the musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” and lyricists of “La La Land’s” Academy Award-winning song, “City of Stars,” also scored “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” and will compose several new songs for the live television event. It will be produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.
Bye Bye Birdie
NBC has set its next live musical with Jennifer Lopez on board to star. Lopez will executive produce with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and her company Nuyorican Productions will produce with Universal Television. Harvey Fierstein will write the television adaptation, with the special slated to air in December, 2017.
Jesus Christ Superstar
NBC is adding to its live production repertoire with Jesus Christ Superstar, scheduled for Easter Sunday 2018.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who created the rock opera that premiered on Broadway in 1971, will be executive producers, joining Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who have produced a number of live productions for NBC in recent years including The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz and Hairspray. Bye Bye Birdie, with Jennifer Lopez, is due in December.
The Little Mermaid
The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! will premiere this fall on ABC, in what the network describes as a “hybrid television experience” that will include both live-action and animated performances. The Little Mermaid Live! event will run for two hours total and feature the original score from the animated film, with songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.
The cast of the upcoming special has yet to be announced, but a release from ABC promises a roster of celebrity artists “whose performances will weave seamlessly throughout the original animated film.” It remains to be seen whether every role will be recast for the event (what would a live-action version of Sebastian the Crab look like? DISCUSS!) and how the producers intend to combine those performances with original material from the 1989 movie.
Which live event has been your favorite so far? Which musicals would you like to see live on Television in the future?