Monthly Archives: April 2016

Cabaret in a Roundabout Sort of Way

A classic show that has seen many iterations since the 1960’s, Cabaret is still going strong. As we know here at the Hollywood Pantages, just because something has been around for a long time does not mean you know everything about it. We did a little digging on Cabaret, playing at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre July 19 – August 7th, and here is what we found.

The original Broadway production of Cabaret opened on November 20, 1966. In addition to several Broadway revivals and West End revivals, Cabaret has been staged in over 16 countries across the globe. Roundabout Theatre Company’s most recent revival opened at Studio 54 on April 24, 2014 in which Alan Cumming returned to revive his Tony-Winning turn as the Emcee.

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Alan Cumming as the Emcee in Cabaret

For those of you currently enjoying Chicago now playing at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre you may consider Cabaret for your next theatre outing. Both shows were written by the highly successful songwriting team, composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb, and have more in common that you may know. Kander and Ebb’s greatest acclaim came from Cabaret in 1966. The musical, directed by frequent collaborator Harold Prince, was a major success, with a Broadway run of over 1,100 performances. It won a Tony Award as the season’s best musical, and its original cast recording won a Grammy Award. The film, directed by Bob Fosse, won eight Academy Awards. The musical Chicago (1975) after an excellent initial run of 936 performances was revived on Broadway in 1996 to become an even greater hit. It has become the longest-running revival in Broadway history, and the 2002 film version was also a great success.

Many well known leading ladies have claimed the role of the British singer Sally Bowles each bringing their own version of the character to the stage. Starting with Judi Dench in the original London production in 1968, other notable Sally’s include Natasha Richardson, Brooke Shields, Molly Ringwald, Emma Stone, Debbie Gibson, Teri Hatcher, and who could forget Liza Minelli for her portrayal in the 1972 Oscar-Winning film.

Judi Dench in her provocative role as the amoral Sally Bowles in Cabaret, the new musical show at the Palace Theatre, London.

Judi Dench in her provocative role as the amoral Sally Bowles in Cabaret, the new musical show at the Palace Theatre, London.

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Emma Stone as Sally Bowles

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Teri Hatcher as Sally Bowles

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Debbie Gibson as Sally Bowles

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Molly Ringwald as Sally Bowles

The multi-Oscar-winning movie makes several changes to the play; in addition to adding and dropping songs, the secondary love plot of the original is replaced with a different secondary plot, a male character is added whose role emphasizes the bisexuality of the leading male character, and the nationalities of Sally and Cliff are switched.  (When ABC aired the movie for the first time, it cut out the revelation of Cliff’s affair with another man, which basically made hash of the end of the film.)

Cabaret 1972 RŽal. : Bob Fosse Liza Minnelli COLLECTION CHRISTOPHEL

Cabaret 1972 RŽal. : Bob Fosse Liza Minnelli COLLECTION CHRISTOPHEL

 Cabaret was based on several chapters from Christopher Isherwood’s somewhat autobiographical novel Goodbye to Berlin, and it seems that new versions of this story have always appeared at times of crisis in America. The novel appeared at the close of World War II; the non-musical stage version debuted during the McCarthy era; the stage musical opened during the Vietnam era; and the movie musical opened in the midst of the Watergate era.  Each subsequent version of this story has been braver, edgier, more explicit, and only now can it be told completely truthfully. Only now can Cliff be fully gay as Christopher Isherwood – the real Cliff – was. Only now can the Kit Kat Klub be as sexual, as decadent, as it really was. Only now, after musicals like Assassins and Kiss of the Spider Woman, are musical theatre audiences ready for the disturbing extremity that this story really demands.

Randy Harrison as the Emcee and the 2016 National Touring cast of Roundabout Theatre Company’s CABARET. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Sarah Bishop as Helga, Andrea Goss as Sally Bowles and Alison Ewing as Fritzie in the 2016 National Tour of Roundabout Theatre Company’s CABARET. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Now experience Cabaret for yourself at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre July 19-August 7. Direct from Broadway, CABARET reunites director Sam Mendes, co-director / choreographer Rob Marshall and many of the same creative team members behind the Tony-Winning 1998 revival production. The New York Times calls it, “Divinely, dangerously decadent,” while Time Out New York hails it “A Broadway jewel in all its glittering glory!”

Randy Harrison as the Emcee and the 2016 National Touring cast of Roundabout Theatre Company’s CABARET. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The 2016 National Touring cast of Roundabout Theatre Company’s CABARET. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Get your tickets to Cabaret by visiting us at: www.HollywoodPantages.com/Cabaret

 

I Auditioned for HAMILTON

Step One: Admit You Have A Problem

Greetings! I am Michael, Office Manager at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. If you are a theatre nerd like me, you probably have the new musical, “Hamilton”, on repeat in your car. I was fortunate enough to see the show on Broadway a few months ago and it completely moved me. I am still recovering to this day. Baby steps.

A few weeks ago it had been announced that the casting team behind “Hamilton” would be hosting an open call in Los Angeles. I was not going to throw away my shot! Yes, that show reference just happened. Sorry, not sorry.

Saturday, April 16th. The day was finally here! I had my sheet music, headshot and resume ready to go! I met up with my friend Nina and we carpooled to save ourselves the crazy parking hassle. We arrived at the Hollywood United Methodist Church, right in the heart of Hollywood, at 8:30am (Sign In began at 10 a.m.), thinking we were a little “early”. Little did I know, auditioners had arrived as early as 6:30 and I was given #250. The first 2 hours were spent waiting outside in line. Note to self: bring an umbrella to the next open call. From there we were brought into the church’s gym where we signed in and received an audition form. By the time I had reached the front of the line, the chairs/space in the gym had already filled up. I saw an open door leading outside and I decided to take a walk. I found a beautiful rose garden and most importantly: SHADE! I decided to make that my home for the remainder of the audition day.

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The halls were alive with the sound of music! See? Theatre nerd, I warned you. Numerous auditioners were spread out throughout the area doing vocal warm-ups or rehearsing their audition pieces “one last time”. Another HAM reference…I’m a monster that cannot be stopped! Due to the large turnout, we were instructed to do away with our sheet music and go a Capella and the 16-32 bar requirement for our audition song was lowered to 8 bars. I decided to change my song completely and I went with “A House Is Not A Home” by Luther Vandross because I felt I could show/give more in 8 bars with that song, rather than my first song choice. By 12 p.m., they had 600 auditioners and the line had to be cut off. After about an hour, the casting team started lining up the first 50 people and they were put in numerical order and it went on as the day went by. In the waiting process I met many people from various backgrounds and it was great to see this wonderful show bring people together. I met a girl in line from Upstate New York who had just moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. She heard about the auditions and immediately cleared her schedule for the weekend. Another person I met was from New York as well, here on vacation. His friend is in the Ensemble of the Broadway cast and filled him in on the audition notice and encouraged him to audition.

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The audition team had the process down to a science and I was truly impressed. Instead of a Broadway audition it felt like an audition for “The Voice” or “American Idol” where you are lined up and then sent to different tables of casting directors. It was about 2:30 p.m. when my group of numbers got called. THIS IS IT! We were lined up, walked to our audition space and then waited outside the room, where we were instructed to go in one by one. I walked in to the cold, quiet audition room also known as The Grant Hall. I walked in to see a casting director, sitting at a table by himself. I walked in, was asked to introduce myself and tell him what I was singing. I got about 30 seconds to sing my song and that was that. If they were considering you for a callback, you were asked to step into another room to sing another song selection or a musical theatre piece and from there they would decide whether or not to call you back the next day.

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In the end, I left without a callback but gained a wonderful experience. I got to audition for THE hottest show in the world and be in a room filled with bright, future stars of tomorrow. Everyone I met was so excited to be there and it was great to see a show like this EXCITE so many people.

As an actor, you will hear a lot of no’s, but it’s up to YOU to pick yourself up and start again.

The next chapter begins…now.

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Michael currently works as the Office Manager for the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. He was bitten by the theatre bug at the age of 4, when his grandmother encouraged him to audition for his first musical. Michael not only loves to perform, but he loves watching live theatre whenever he gets the chance and is a huge advocate for Arts education in our schools. When not at work or performing, Michael serves as Vice President for the Santa Fe Springs Community Playhouse, a Board Member for the California State Thespian Society and an adjudicator for Pantages’ very own Jerry Herman Awards. Michael has performed all around Southern California in shows such as The Wizard of Oz, Urinetown, Grease and West Side Story…to name a few. Theatre is a huge part of his life, so he thanks you for your patronage and for helping to keep the theatre community alive and thriving!

Everybody Say Yeah!

It’s a rare thing to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but to receive one along side a dear friend and colleague happens once in a life time. On Monday, April 11th Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein received their stars for their collaboration on the Tony Award winning Broadway show Kinky Boots right in front of the Hollywood Pantages.

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Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper introduced by Leron Gubler, President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

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Sharron Osborne speaks on behalf of Cyndi Lauper

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Sharron Osborne, guest speaker for Cyndi Lauper

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Marissa Jaret Winokur speaks on behalf of Harvey Fierstein

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Marissa Jaret Winokur, guest speaker for Harvey Fierstein

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Official Walk of Fame certificates

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Tiffany Engen (Lauren) sings “History of Wrong Guys” from Kinky Boots

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Cyndi sees her star for the first time

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Harvey enjoying his star

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Poses with THE Kinky Boots

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Cyndi waves to her fans

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Harvey can’t get enough of his star

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Stars appropriately placed outside The Frolic Room

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Rock Star Pose

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Harvey signing autographs for fans

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Cyndi signs an autograph for a young fan

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Leah and daughter Abby show off their newly signed Kinky Boots Playbill

The Festival of Books

On April 9th and 10th The Hollywood Pantages will have the pleasure of participating in the L.A. Times Festival of Books. The festival is held on the campus of USC on both Saturday and Sunday. Each year we try to bring our A game to our booth. This year we are happy be displaying some amazing Broadway costumes. Check out the photos below for a sneak peak of this weekend’s festivities.

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From left to right: Hedwig and The Angry Inch costume worn by Michael C. Hall on Broadway, Peter Pan costume from Finding Neverland on Broadway, The Kinky Boots, and an ensemble dress from 42nd Street.

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Hand beaded ensemble dress from 42nd Street.

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Peter Pan costume from Finding Neverland on Broadway.

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Front: Michael C. Hall’s Broadway Hedwig costume from Hedwig and The Angry Inch.

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Back: Michael C. Hall’s Broadway Hedwig costume from Hedwig and The Angry Inch

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Michael C. Hall’s boots from Hedwig and The Angry Inch on Broadway.

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In addition to the amazing costumes stop by and get your very own Hollywood Pantages tote bag!

For more information about The Festival of Books CLICK HERE