Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Patrons They Never Forgot

Our amazing ushers see over 20,000 patrons come through the theatre doors every week. Sometimes it’s hard to remember faces in a crowd that large but some faces just stand out and stick with you forever. In this blog our ushers were kind enough to share some of those stories.

“I met four lovely ladies during the recent run of Annie. The eldest of the four was in need of some assistance getting to and from her seat. As the last of the guests were exiting the theatre at the end of the night I waited with these ladies to help them make their own exit. As we waited for the crowds to pass they told me that they were four generations of the same family. The youngest was just old enough to be watching her first show at the Pantages. What made the story really stick with me was, not only all these generations here at this show, but also that all four of them had their first theatrical experience with a production of Annie! I don’t know if they knew how truly cool and rare a thing that was.”

Sarah C.

“I helped a woman during Jersey Boys that was celebrating her 102nd birthday. She remembered what Hollywood looked like before the Pantages was even built! I wish I could have talked with her all night. I’m sure she had some amazing stories to tell.”

Micaela C.

As odd as it is, I got complimented for directing women in the mezzanine restroom. A lady commented that she’d never seen the line move so quickly before and that I was doing an amazing job. Then one of the stalls directly in front of the doorway opened, so I gestured and said, “This stall is open, ma’am,” and she laughed and said, “Oh thank goodness, I’d be lost without you!”

Lauren W.

“I think the show was either Wicked or Newsies, but I remember this old gentleman with nicely combed white hair that had a walker and I helped him to his seat. He was really sweet and kept talking about how excited he was to see the show. I kept chatting with him and he was really happy I helped him. He was like “gosh the ushers keep getting cuter from when I used to come to the shows”. I am pretty sure I was embarrassed and turned red, but he was so nice and sweet it made my day!”

Veronica B.

“I encountered many wonderful patrons when I was an usher, but there is one patron in particular that I will never forget. A patron by the name of Eileen, who is also a season subscriber. I first helped her and husband about 4 years ago and every time they came to a show, they would do their best to track me down and find me at my position that I was working that day. We would exchange hugs and happy greetings every time we saw one another and it was always refreshing to know that a patron not only cared about their theatre going experience, but about the ushers who always helped them. To all of our patrons out there, THANK YOU! Your patronage is appreciated, more than you will ever know.”

Michael A.

“I spoke with a woman once that said she had been an usher here in the 1950’s”

Michael B.

“I struck up a conversation with this lady that said she used to come to the Pantages when she was little to see movies with her mother. She said she used to pretend that she was in a castle coming down the grand staircases. ”

Kayla C.

“I was working in the Presidents Club and a couple came in with this plush duck. I guess they take it everywhere with them and document their adventures. The took a picture of me with the duck.”

Alyssa A.

“There was a gentleman and his wife that were gifted season tickets by their children every year. The couple had met when they were very young. He was a piano player and she was a singer. It was love at first sight. As they grew older the woman struggled getting ready to come see the shows. The man would help her do her hair and make up and would help her into her dress for the evening. The night he told us this story was the very first time he had been to the Pantages after she passed away. He said it would be his last show because this was their place and doing it with out her was just too hard.”

Trevor J.


“I always get excited around the holidays because that’s when the proposals happen! Once I even got to help with one. I believe it was during the Lion King. The couple had gotten stuck in traffic and arrived to the theatre late. Lion King has a seating hold for the first number so she went to the bathroom while he waited by the curtain. He told me that he was proposing tonight and asked if at the end of the show I would walk down and offer to take a picture of them in the theatre. At the end of the show I approached them and asked if they would like their photo taken. When he handed off the camera he got down on one knee and popped the question. She said YES!”

Angela W.

Rapping with Anthony Rapp

Evan Henerson

“I like things that are rigorous and challenging and interesting,” says Anthony Rapp, “things that live and breathe.”

The actor, currently appearing in the national tour of “If/Then,” isn’t talking about performance or activism or the projects he chooses (although the sentiment would certainly apply).  In fact the subject is poker. It’s one of Rapp’s favorite activities, particularly when he is in Los Angeles.

This particular stay isn’t leaving much opportunity for gaming what with Rapp and the “If/Then” company performing eight shows per week. Rapp, Idina Menzel, LaChanze and James Snyder are all reprising their Broadway roles for the first part of the tour.

In “If/Then,” Rapp plays Lucas, an activist and friend of city planner Elizabeth (played by Menzel). A choice made by Elizabeth at the beginning of the show has significant reverberations. The show plays out two parallel scenarios with Liz following one path and Beth another. Lucas plays a significant part in both outcomes, but his fate varies in each.

(l to r) Jesse L. Martin, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Rosario Dawson, Idina Menzel and Tracie Thoms star in Revolution StudiosÕ rock opera Rent, a Columbia Pictures release.

(l to r) Jesse L. Martin, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Rosario Dawson, Idina Menzel and Tracie Thoms star in Revolution StudiosÕ rock opera Rent, a Columbia Pictures release.

The musical reunites Rapp both with Menzel who  – like Rapp – was one of the original company members of “Rent” and with their “Rent” director Michael Greif.  A performer from the age of 9 with multiple Broadway, film and TV credits, Rapp is one of the co-organizers of the inaugural BrowdwayCon convention coming in January.  Rapp recently spoke to HP2703 on a Wednesday before the first of his two performances.

HOLLYWOOD PANTAGES 2703: I just caught the show last night. Coming off the weekend, how do you think that performance went?

ANTHONY RAPP: I thought it was pretty good. I had to go to Pittsburgh on my day off to do a benefit for a theater where I’ve worked a bunch of times over the years, so I was a little bit tired, but I rallied. There’s something about adrenaline and a live audience that really helps. The audience last night was really with it and responsive. It’s not just that they’re laughing and clapping, but you can just feel when they’re present and connected. Last night’s audience was very much that way.

HP: You sign autographs after every performance, right?

AR: Yeah.

HP: After performances of “If/Then,” what sorts of things about the show do people say they are responding to?

AR: They don’t usually say a lot. They usually ask me for a picture and an autograph (laughs). They say nice general things. I noticed when we were in New York, there were a lot of people from all over the world who were coming to New York and seeing it, especially from Latin America, and they were the ones who were a little more vocal and specific about being moved by the show and feeling very connected to it. It seems like the people on the road have also felt similarly, but I don’t know if they are shyer about engaging in a lengthy conversation. I don’t know if people don’t do stage door much on the road.

HP: You have never been shy about connecting with fans. Do you have some memorable stage door moments, either when you were performing or as a fan yourself?

AR:  “Stagedooring” has become a one word verb. When “Rent” first started, it wasn’t that. It wasn’t until a little later into the run that the stagedooring craze happened. I think even not even until really the end of my run where I would come out of the front of the theater where, because there wasn’t a proper stage door at the Nederlander Theatre, you sort of had to walk through the lobby. There would be maybe 5 to 10 people waiting just to talk to us get a picture or an autograph. So we could actually interact with them and have a real conversation. That wasn’t just like an assembly line experience. That was how I met Melissa Anelli who is one of my closest friends and who I’m doing BroadwayCon with. That kind of meeting would be much harder to have now. I don’t mind the stage door the way it’s become, but it’s not the same as it was in terms of having the chance to really talk to individual human beings in a more intimate way.


Anthony Rapp as Mark Cohen in Rent

HP: Let’s talk about BroadwayCon which is fast approaching (January 22-24) It’s coming up fast. How is everything coming together?

AR: It’s just getting a real head of steam. I was talking to Melissa and she said she just was in three successive video conference calls that were all about big things that are continuing to coalesce around it. We’re at this stage where there are so many people who want to participate from within the community, and now we might not have room for everybody. It’s like a good problem to have. There’s a high demand and a high level of interest because there has never been anything like this before.

HP: What specifically will you be doing at the convention?

AR: I’ll be performing a little bit. There’s at least a big opening performance number which I don’t even know the ins and outs of because I haven’t been privy to it, but I’m going to be part of it. There will be all sorts of panels. I’m going to do a master class. There’s signings, I think I’m slated right now for at least four or five panels. I’m at their mercy. At this point, it’s a game of Jenga of putting together all the different pieces and then making sure that all the slots match up. There’s so many moving parts. So I’m helping put it together, but I’m not in on all of the nitty gritty of all of it.

HP: And the impetus for the convention is to bring artists and audiences closer together, correct?

AR: Absolutely. There are people who come to the theater because there’s nothing like being in a  room with a bunch of other living breathing human beings and experience that living breathing human beings are on stage performing for you. There’s not always the opportunity for the audiences and artists to have much more interaction than simply being observer and observed. We’re all part of one big community, and we can participate in conversations and demonstrations and events and sometimes other kinds of performances as well with the level of intimacy and interaction that isn’t always possible when you’re in a theater. And it’s all still going to be much more than a simple quick stage door drive by kind of situation.

HP: There’s a little bit of irony here. During BroadwayCon, you won’t be performing with “If/Then.”

AR: Yes, I’ll be missing a small handful of performances in Costa Mesa. BroadwayCon has been in the works for so long so when our producer David Stone told me about the “If/Then” tour, I said, “I’ll do the tour but I’ve got to do BroadwayCon.” He was like, “Of course, of course.” He has been an advisor to my colleagues who are helping to create BroadwayCon. He’s been a very important part of making it happen, too.

HP: Back to “If/Then.” What has it been like to work with Idina Menzel and Michael Greif again nearly 20 years post-“Rent”?

AR: It’s sort of like a bonus round experience. I get to work again with people I love and trust and have known for all this time on something that we all have done our very best to put our hearts and souls into. So it just feels like a bonus. That’s really the best way I can describe it. “If/Then” hasn’t been the huge smash of “Rent,” of course, by any means, but we all went through that trench together [with “Rent”]and it was this overwhelming success and now we just get to be together as friends and collaborators and fellow artists and put our best selves together and do our best work. So we’re just lucky to get the chance to do that.


(From left) James Snyder, Idina Menzel, LaChanze and Anthony Rapp at the NYC premiere of If/Then.

HP: Regarding Idina specifically, have the two of you stayed in touch over the years? Does she have the same work process that she had back during the “Rent” days?

AR: This time with Idina especially in these last few years of all the readings and then the production of “If/Then,” it’s taken our friendship to a whole other level in a wonderful way.

The common thread is that she has always approached the work with nothing but authenticity and soul and that voice (laughs). I always think back to the early days of rehearsal for “Rent” off Broadway, she had a little gig downtown at a club that I don’t think even exists anymore. And there were maybe 10 people in the crowd plus us, maybe not even that many, and she was destroying it. She was killing it in all the best ways. Cut to 20 years later and she’s at the Hollywood Bowl and it’s sold out and she’s killing it just like she did in this tiny club all those years ago. She’s on a rocket ship. Her fame is just exploding, and I’ve certainly seen people be corrupted by that or lose themselves or be confused by it. In my experience of Idina, it’s just brought her deeper and deeper into a fuller sense of who she is, and that’s really wonderful to see. It’s always been deserved. Sometimes the world just takes a while to catch up.

HP: You were at the Pantages with the “Rent” tour in 2009 and you have some experience on the road. How does it feel to be packing a suitcase yet again?

AR: I first did a tour when I was 10 with Yul Brynner in “The King and I” for years and then “Little Shop of Horrors,” then “Rent.” We did four cities for the out of town tryout of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” so I’ve had different moments of being on the road. It’s really not a life I’d want to live all the time. There are people who are kind of like road warriors, and they only ever tour. I wouldn’t like that because I like to have a time at home too, but I do like every several years or so having the chance to go on the road because it is a great way to see the country. I do have people I know in many of these cities that we’re going to do, and it’s a great way to visit old friends. I do like the idea of taking this show, which is not as well known but I feel a very vital part of the contemporary America musical theater landscape, and sharing it with people who never had the chance to come to New York and see it.

If/Then National Theatre Cast List: Idina Menzel LaChanze Anthony Rapp James Snyder Jerry Dixon Jenn Colella Jason Tam Tamika Lawrence Joe Cassidy Miguel Cervantes Curtis Holbrook Stephanie Klemons Tyler McGee Ryann Redmond Joe Aaron Reid Ann Sanders Production Credits: Michael Greif (Direction) Larry Keigwin (Choreography) Mark Wendland (Scenic Design) Emily Rebholz (Costume Design) Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design) Brian Ronana (Sound Design) Carmel Dean (Musical Direction) Tom Kitt and Michael Starobin (Orchestrations) Other Credits: Lyrics by: Brian Yorkey Music by: Tom Kitt Book by: Brian Yorkey

LaChanze and Anthony Rapp in If/Then. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

HP: Idina, James Snyder and LaChanze are leaving the tour mid January. You’re continuing.

AR: You know I’m a pretty loyal person. I’m not saying they’re not loyal. Idina needs a break. She’s been going nonstop for like three solid years and she has a 6 year-old son. LaChanze has two teen age daughters and James has two small children so that’s really the primary reason that all of them can’t do the whole tour. I just have cats. (laughs). Having toured before, I know what I’m getting into and I’m ready for that experience and there are a couple of layoffs we have in the spring and summer. I get a couple little breaks where I can go home and check in. It’s something I really feel very strongly about, the loyalty and connection to Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey and Michael and to David Stone. If my presence in any way can help bring a little attention to the show as we go into some of these cities, then I’m happy for that.

For more information about BroadwayCon visit:

Henerson headshot 10-5-15

Evan Henerson has been writing about theater in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. He was the Theater writer and critic for the Los Angeles Daily News for nine years and has written for Playbill Online, Backstage, American Theatre and Stage Directions.You can read his reviews on TheaterMania, CurtainUp and

Helpful Hints From the Ushers

Our ushers work very hard to make sure that everyone has a wonderful experience here at the theatre and they do it all with a smile on their face. There are things that they would like you to know to make your visit that much more pleasant and stress free.  Here are some helpful hints and tips straight from the mouths of our ushers.

Remember no outside food or drink is allowed into the theatre (except for water).

The theatre does not have a designated check in location. Be sure to leave large bags, cameras, and flowers in your car or at home.

It’s always a good idea to get to the theatre no later than 7:45 so you are not rushing to find your seat.

Be sure to have your ticket’s bar code easily accessible for scanning.

(Secret Tip) If you have digital tickets, take a screen capture of the bar codes to avoid slow loading times on mobile devices.

Have all bags and purses open for quick inspection (this is for everyone’s safety).

Make note of which door the ticket taking usher directs you towards (this helps you find your seat faster).

Playbills are complimentary. Be sure to grab one before heading into the lobby.


Complimentary hearing devices are available at Audience Services to the right of the entrance.

Binoculars are also available at Audience Services for a rental fee of $10.

(Secret Tip) The ladies restroom up the stairs on the left is the largest of the 3 women’s restrooms and tends to have a smaller line before the show and during intermission.

There are two accessible restrooms located in the theatre. The first is just past Audience Services on the right. The second is located through the curtain near door 2. (House right)


Be Advised that there is no elevator in the theatre. If you have seats in the Mezzanine and need assistance locate an usher right away.

Remember that alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the seating area so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy your drink before the show.

(Secret Tip) You can pre-order your drink for intermission at the bar before the show starts!


Curious about Season Tickets? Ask one of our knowledgeable Outbound Sales staffers located behind podiums near concessions.

Have a question about the theatre or its history? Ask an usher or purchase our Pantages Theatre Program for $20 at Audience Services.


(Secret Tip) One of the best photo-ops is at the top of the grand staircase on either side. Take a selfie with your back to the lobby and get the chandeliers in the photo.


A limited number of booster seats are available near each door for those that are vertically challenged.

When the lights in the lobby begin to flash that is your cue to take your seat.

Doors are numbered 6 -1 from left to right. (Do you remember which door the usher told you to enter?)

DSC_0751 DSC_0753

The ushers at your door will let you know which side of the aisle your seats will be located.

If you require extra assistance don’t hesitate to ask. The ushers are there to help you!

Once you find your seats look up. The ceiling is spectacular.

Each show has their own photo policy. Be sure to check with an usher before you start snapping pics. (This includes selfies, Snapchats, and Instagram)

(Secret Tip) For a great shot of the theatre walk to the front near the orchestra pit and turn around.

Make sure that your phone is turned off before the performance begins. Texting, talking, and the taking photo/videos are not allowed during the performance. (Phones are not only distracting to those around you but are very distracting to the performers on stage.)

If at anytime during a performance you have an issue with a seat neighbor or need assistance, ushers are located at each door. You don’t have to wait until intermission or the end of the show to ask for help.


The length of intermission is determined by the show in the building. Typically they are 15-20 minutes.

Keep your ticket with you if you are exiting the building. You MUST have it to re-enter.

Concessions takes cash only! This is to make sure everyone gets through the line during intermission.

Be Aware that some shows have seating holds at the end of intermission. When you see the lights flashing make for your seat so you don’t miss anything.

At the end of the show you can sometimes catch the cast members exiting the stage door. As you walk out of the seating area take a left and walk to the end of the hallway to exit to the stage door.








Brian Yorkey’s “If/Then” Moment

Evan Henerson

Once you’ve written a musical that centers around choices and consequences, the subject of paths taken and forsaken is going to circle back. Members of the cast and crew of “If/Then” have their own, unique If/Then stories. So does Brian Yorkey, the show’s book writer and lyricist. In fact he’s got several.

But on the occasion of “If/Then” coming to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre featuring Tony nominated star Idina Menzel and several members of the Broadway company, one particular series of Yorkey choices seems particularly noteworthy.


(from left) Anthony Rapp, James Snyder, Idina Menzel and LaChanze recording the cast album for If/Then.

Yorkey was a student at Columbia University who had already written a few college musicals. Overseeing the university’s Varsity Show for returning alumni, Yorkey was in a bind when the program’s music director went abroad, accidentally taking the music with him and leaving the varsity show producers in need of a pianist to play the show for a summer reunion performance.

A friend and classmate, Rita Pietropinto, had heard rumblings of a hotshot freshman who could tickle the ivories: kid by the name of Tom Kitt.

“So Rita knocked on Tom’s door and he agreed to play the show,” recalls Yorkey. “Tom listened to a cassette tape and played the rehearsal that same night which is ridiculous. She introduced us and at first I was like ‘I don’t want to write with some punk-ass Freshman kid. I’m 23 and he’s 20. What’s that about?’”

Yorkey laughs at the memory. As history would play out, by introducing Kitt to Yorkey, Pietropinto altered several lives. Kitt and Yorkey began writing songs together and that creative partnership led to the team winning the 2009 Tony Award for Best Original Score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for “Next to Normal.” “If/Then,” their subsequent show ran for 401 performances on Broadway and the duo are currently at work on an adaptation of the film “Magic Mike.”

Book writer and lyricist Brian Yorkey, left, and composer Tom Kitt, pose for a photograph in front of the Booth Theatre on Broadway in New York, Monday, April 12, 2010. Their musical, "Next to Normal," won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for drama Monday. The musical is about the complexity and heartbreak of a woman's mental illness and its effect on her family. "This is a show about real people and what they are going through, exploring their pains and also their joys on a level that musicals don't often do," Yorkey said. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Brian Yorkey, left, and Tom Kitt, pose for a photograph in front of the Booth Theatre on Broadway in New York.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Kitt’s arrival worked out well for Pietropinto as well; she ended up marrying and having three children with the composer. “In that sort of little random piece of chance, Tom got a wife and a professional colleague for decades,” Yorkey said. “It did not seem significant at the time, for sure.”

Another reverberation from the new Kitt-Yorkey partnership involved the Columbia Varsity Show’s music director who was displaced by Kitt’s arrival. Yorkey and this budding musical theater man had already written a handful of musicals together and had dreamed about writing for Broadway. After the varsity show, Yorkey e-mailed the friend, a Rhodes scholar who was studying at Oxford, and asked his friend’s permission to team up with Kitt on a musical.

“He said, ‘You know it’s fine if you do one or two things with him as long as you don’t abandon me for a new partner,’ and of course I said I would never do that kind of thing, and that’s kind of what I ended up doing,” Yorkey said.  “I did not behave well, and I was a little bit embarrassed about that and we didn’t speak for a few years.”

Who was that jilted pianist? Fellow by the name of Eric Garcetti.

The two men have long since reconciled and Yorkey is hopeful that, schedule permitting, the Mayor of Los Angeles will take in a performance of “If/Then” at the Pantages.

“I said to Eric at the time, ‘Look, what I have to do for this world is write. That’s what I can do. You have many other things to offer that are more important than writing Broadway musicals,’” Yorkey said. “That’s already proven to be true. It all worked out the way it should be, but not without a little drama along the way.”

Yorkey came to Los Angeles in the hopes of writing for film and TV, and he made his living pre “Next to Normal” by writing a series of screenplays which were never produced. But he has never had to make an If/Then style choice between chasing Broadway and the silver screen success. Yorkey took both paths.


Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey Tony award winners for best original score for “Next to Normal”

Theater success came first. Post college, Yorkey ended up back in Issaquah, Washington where he had attended high school. He linked up with the Village Theatre, first as an artist with the theater’s KIDSTAGE program and later as the company’s Associate Artistic Director for six years. Five of Yorkey’s musicals have been staged at the Village including “Funny Pages” (1993), “Making Tracks” (2002), “The Wedding Banquet” (an adaptation of the Ang Lee film) (2003), “Play it by Heart” (2005), and “A Perfect Fall” (2007). “Next to Normal” also received a workshop at the Village Theatre back when it was still titled “Feeling Electric.”

“If/Then” would have no workshop phase out west, not after Idina Menzel came on board. The idea for this project came from Kitt who dreamed up the notion of a young woman coming to New York to restart her life. Producer David Stone suggested that the team consider reworking it to make the woman closer to 40, thereby raising the stakes of her choices.


(from left) Tom Kitt, Idina Menzel and Brian Yorkey at the 2014 Tony Nominee press junket.

Kitt and Yorkey agreed, and Stone informed the team that Idina Menzel was interested in coming aboard and possibly making the play her first return to Broadway since “Wicked.” With Menzel on board, except for a pre-Broadway engagement at the National Theatre in Washington D.C., the play would develop in the city of its genesis: New York. Which is fitting, given how much of a role the city plays in the final product.  “If/Then” builds around the choices made by city planner Elizabeth, and the two divergent paths that she takes as Liz and Beth based on those decisions.

“If/Then” may have been conceived of as a valentine to the Big Apple –  a tale that could only take place in that specific city –  but Yorkey has since discovered that regional audiences from other places have taken possession of the musical.

“It surprised me is how profoundly many people have read their own lives into this story,” Yorkey says. “It was very much, we felt, a New Yorker’s show and the characters in it certainly sort of have a certain New York-ness to them, but the people who came to Broadway who loved it most were from other places. I got to sit with audiences in Denver and in Seattle. There is something about the experience of New York that I think New Yorkers, if it’s not their experience of New York, they judge it as inauthentic.”

“I’ve talked to people in Denver and Seattle and they have also able to read their own cities into the story of a woman who was tired of not living in a city and moved back to a city,” Yorkey continued. “That song ‘Map of New York’ is really a story about how cities are wonderful places to make a life happen, and I think that watching audiences from other places and in other places embrace that sort of New York set story has been surprising and really gratifying.”

The Pantages geography certainly suits Yorkey who moved to Los Angeles in the early 2000s and is now bicoastal with a home that sits five minutes from the Pantages. His series “13 Reasons Why” will go into production for Netflix in 2016.

Asked about the quintessential Los Angeles musical, Yorkey demures.

“I don’t think it’s been written yet. Maybe if Steve Martin has a good experience with ‘Bright Star,’ he can write the musical of ‘L.A. Story.’” Yorkey said.

There’s another option. Yorkey cops to the fact that before the dissolution of the Garcetti-Yorkey musical team, the duo was at work on a musical set in the City of Angels.

“We may finish that musical some day,” Yorkey said with a laugh. “He’s a little busy right now.”

Until that reunion, musical theater watchers can continue to wonder what if…


Henerson headshot 10-5-15

Evan Henerson has been writing about theater in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. He was the Theater writer and critic for the Los Angeles Daily News for nine years and has written for Playbill Online, Backstage, American Theatre and Stage Directions.You can read his reviews on TheaterMania, CurtainUp and

20 Years of Dance

Riverdance got its start at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994. The leads and Irish dance chanmpions Jean Butler and Michael Flatley were accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Celtic choral group  Anúna. Following its huge success it was expanded it into a stage show, which opened in Dublin, on Feb 9 1995.


Original Riverdance leads Jean Butler and Michael Flatley.

Later that year the show moved to London. The reaction for Riverdance was so huge the original 10 performances was quickly increased to 151 performances. In March of 1996, the show began a successful tour, selling out 8 shows at Radio City Music Hall. Since then Riverdance has packed theatres throughout North America, Asia, Europe, South Africa and South America.

Over the last 20 years Riverdance has racked up some serious numbers. We decided to put together a collection of estimated statistics the show has acquired throughout the years.


Photographer Rob McDogall

– There have been 11,000 performances of “Riverdance”

– It has been seen by over 25 million people in over 465 venues worldwide

– Its played in 46 countries across six continents

– The show has travelled 700,000 miles (or to the moon and back and back again!)

– Its played to a global television audience of 3 billion people

– The Grammy Award-winning CD has sold over 3 million copies

– The DVD has sold over 10 million

– 1,500 Irish Dancers


Riverdance Line Photographer Jack Hartin

– 14,000 dance shoes used

– 12,000 costumes worn

– 200,000 gallons of water consumed

– 60,000 gallons of gatorade consumed

– 1,650,000 show programmes sold

– 1,500 flight cases used

– 12,000 stage lighting bulbs used

– 40,000 boxes of tissues used

– 16,250 guitar, bass and fiddle strings replaced


Photographer Jack Hartin

– 284,000 t-shirts sold

– 39 marriages between company members

– 20,000 cumulative years of study in step-dancing by Irish dancers

– 45,000 rolls of self-grip tape used by company physiotherapists

– 15,000 hours of rehearsals on tour

– 5,500,000 pounds of dry ice used on stage


Photographer Jack Hartin

– 60,000 pounds of chocolate consumed (for energy!) by the cast

For tickets to Riverdance visit: