Author Archives: Micaela Cummings

Spoilers

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

New Menu at Wood and Vine

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!

Wood and Vine’s famous Chicken and Waffles, Adult Mac, Truffle Grilled Cheese, House Salt and Vinegar Chips, and Street Corn.

Purple Kale Salad.

Truffle Grilled Cheese, Adult Mac, House Salt and Vinegar Chips.

Executive Chef, Jennifer O’neil introduces her new menu to the Wood and Vine staff.

Ahi Tuna Tartare

Pan Crusted Salmon, Charcuterie and Or Cheese Board, Pork Belly and Beer Battered Fish Tacos.

Tea Infused Buttermilk Panna Cotta, Butterscotch, and Nutella Bombshell

To view Wood and Vine’s new menu CLICK HERE. To make a reservation for dinner before the show visit their website WoodandVine.com

Ham 4 Ham Los Angeles

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.

Hamilton fans line up on Hollywood Blvd. to enter the #Ham4Ham lottery.

A family of Hamilton fans wait for their chance to enter the lottery.

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.

 

 

Hamilton fans big and small came to Hollywood for the #Ham4Ham lottery

Fans sporting their “And Peggy” shirts.

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.

Fans excited to hear that the line would soon start moving.

 

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.

A reporter interviews a young boy after the entire crowd sings him Happy Birthday.

An excited fan takes a selfie while she waits for #Ham4Ham to begin.

Fans in the crowd sing “Rise Up” from the Hamilton cast recording

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.

 

 

A lucky fan raises his hand to indicate that he wanted two tickets after finding out his name had been drawn for the lottery.

#Ham4Ham winners wait to cash in their Hamiltons for tickets to the performance that night.

Lottery winners beat the odds for $10 tickets to the show.

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.

Why are Understudies, Swings and Standby Actors Important?

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.

Shirley MacLaine experienced her big break as an understudy to actress Carol Haney in the 1954 production of The Pajama Game when Haney sprained her ankle.

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.

Mason Alexander, former Jerry Herman Award Winner, was cast as the standby for Darren Criss in the LA run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Mason continued as Hedwig when Darren Criss left the tour.

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!

Swings for Broadway’s Newsies dressed and ready to go on at a moment’s notice.

#WalkofFame

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.

The Feb. 8, 1960 groundbreaking ceremony with, from left, Supervisor Ernest Debs, E.M. Stuart, Gigi Perreau, Linda Darnell, Harry M. Sugarman, Francis X. Bushman and Charles Coburn.

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.

Neil Patrick Harris received his star right next to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre on September 15, 2011.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also find the stars of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber,  James M. Nederlander, Carol Channing, Keith Carradine, Stephen Schwartz, Sir Tim Rice, and many more below the Hollywood Pantages marquee.

For more information about the Hollywood Walk of fame visit their website: www.walkoffame.com

The Book of Mormon Goes to Dodger Stadium

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!

Keven Clay rehearses with the Dodger Stadium Organist before singing live on the field

Kevin Clay, CJ Pawlikowski, and Jacob Haren get a tour of the Dodger Baseball Hall of Fame.

Kevin Clay sings the National Anthem on the field at Dodger Stadium

A job well done. Kevin Clay leaves the field with a smile after performing the National Anthem

Keven receives congratulations from his cast mates CJ Pawlikowski, and Jacob Haren

 

 

2017 Jerry Herman Award Moments

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.

JHA participants begin working through the opening number music early Saturday morning.

Boys begin auditioning for opening number solos

Boys working through the opening number music

Girls take turns auditioning for opening number solos

Participants begin learning opening number choreography

The JHA welcome back Josh Strobl to help open the show

Participants listen closely to choreography instructions

Finalist, Sully Zack waits in the wings while his fellow participants learn a block of choreography

 

 

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.

Participants pose for a quick photo with Music Director, Michael Orland, before the show begins.

2016 JHA Winner Josh Strobl returns to help open the 2017 JHA

Amaris Griggs on right performs her opening number solo.

Television Personality George Pennacchio emcee’s the Jerry Herman Awards

Finalist Ariana Prappas from San Marino High School performs Light in the Piazza

Finalist Cameron Vargas from Crescenta Valley High School performs Music of the Night

Finalist Brezae Weeks from HArts Academy performs I’m Here

Finalist Sully Zack from John Burroughs High School Performs Extraordinary

Finalist Brighton Thomas from John Burroughs High School performs With You

Finalist Robert Diehl from Mira Costa High School performs Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Palos Verdes Peninsula performs 76 Trombones from The Music Man

Palos Verdes Peninsula performs 76 Trombones from The Music Man

Mira Costa High School performs The Farmer and The Cowman from Oklahoma!

Mira Costa High School performs The Farmer and The Cowman from Oklahoma!

Saugus High School performs Tradition from Fiddler on the Roof

Saugus High School performs Tradition from Fiddler on the Roof

2017 JHA Winners pose with the judges. From left: Josh Strobl (2016 JHA winner) Kenny Ortega, Cathy Rigby, Cameron Vargas, Brighton Thomas, Nancy Dussault, John Bowab, and Lewis Wilkenfeld

 

 

The 2017 Jerry Herman Awards Winners

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.

Scenic Design

Milken Community Schools- Les Miserables

Lighting Design

Diamond Bar High School- In the Heights

Costume Design

The Archer School for Girls- The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Students from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School perform “76 Trombones” from The Music Man

Orchestra

Mira Costa High School- Oklahoma!

Ensemble/Chorus

Saugus High School- Fiddler on the Roof

Students from Saugus High School perform “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof

Technical Crew

Providence High School- The Addams Family

Staging/Choreography

New Roads High School- In the Heights

Students from Mira Costa High School perform “Farmer and the Cowman” from Oklahoma!

Musical Direction

Saugus High School- Fiddler on the Roof

Supporting Actor

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”

For the first time ever a three way tie for Best Supporting Actor. From the left Lucas Grenda Palos Verdes Peninsula, Jake Mouchawar Oaks Christian, and Carter Skyers Chaminade Preparatory

Supporting Actress

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts- A Chorus Line: Shaila Essley “Shelia”

Shaila Essley from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts takes home the prize for Best Supporting Actress

“No Small Parts”

New Roads School- In the Heights: Caleb McGee “Piragua Guy”

Best Actor

Crescenta Valley High School – Phantom of the Opera: Cameron Vargas “The Phantom”

Cameron Vargas from Crescenta Valley High School wins Best Actor winner moves onto the Jimmy Award’s in NYC

Best Actress

John Burroughs High School – Pippin: Brighton Thomas “The Leading Player”

Brighton Thomas from John Burroughs High School wins Best Actress and moves on to the Jimmy Awards in NYC

Best Production

Mira Costa High School-Oklahoma!

The cast of Mira Costa’s Oklahoma! Wins Best Production.

No Two Days Were The Same

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.

Can the genie make my internship longer?

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.

Some people waited in line for up to 8 hours to get tickets to Hamilton

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.

Annnnd IIIIIIII EEEE IIII Will Always Love The Pantages!

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.

Deborah Cox on Fox!

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.

Jerry Herman Award Participants just before show time!

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!

Standing on stage.

Musicals for Television

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.

Rent

Photo taken from the 2005 Film Rent

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

Photo taken from the 1983 film

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

Photo taken from the 1963 film

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

King Herod’s Song from the 1973 film

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 MusicPeter PanThe Wiz and HairsprayBye Bye Birdie, with Jennifer Lopez, is due in December.

The Little Mermaid

Screen capture from the 1989 film

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?