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
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!
Most of us know that The Bodyguard is an award – winning musical based on the smash – hit film of the same name. All of us have belted out the words “I Will Always Love You” at some point in our lives. Don’t lie, we know you have! But there are a few thing about this show that might surprise you. Check out our list of did you know fun facts!
The song “I Will Always Love You” was actually written by Dolly Parton in 1973, and released as a country single in 1974.
The Bodyguard Screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan, was also known for writing Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Silverado. He has directed, written or produced 21 major motion pictures, including co-writing the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens
J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Bodyguard’s bookwriter Alexander Dinelaris won a 2015 Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for the film Birdman. Dinelaris also wrote the book for the current Broadway musical On Your Feet: The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan.
87th Annual Academy Awards From left: Alejandro G. Inarritu, Alexander Dinelaris, Nicolas Giacobono, Armando Bo
Our favorite fun fact about this show is that the final scene of the 1992 film was actually shot in the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. You can’t ask for a better setting to completely immerse yourself within a show!
The Hollywood Pantages Theatre is a very different place when there is no show in the building. The stage returns to its black blank canvas and the auditorium seems much smaller without the audience members filling each seat. While we do miss you when you’re gone, we take these quiet moments to keep the old girl looking like her fabulous self.
This year we had just about 4 weeks between An American in Paris and The Bodyguard to get all of the seats removed, rip out all of the carpet, get the new carpet laid down, and get all of the seats back in place. The photos below show what we have done so far.
Day 1: All of the seats have to be unbolted from the floor before they can be removed. Seats are removed in groups of three or four. Once seats have been cleared from an area the carpet is then pulled up.
Row SS begins to fall backwards after having the bolts removed.
Workers begin to pull up the carpet from the rear of the 200 section.
Orchestra seats begin to take over the lobby.
Seats were also placed in the lower bar near the women’s restroom on the West side of the building.
Seats filling up the colonnade near the tiled drinking fountain.
The seats in the rear 200 and 100 sections have been completely removed.
Air conditioning vent boxes are now visible with the seats removed. The Hollywood Pantages cooling is based on a push/pull system. The vent boxes open to 2 massive pressurized air chambers known as the plenum located right below the seats.
Photo taken from the mezzanine house right. The aisles between each section have been stripped of their carpet.
By the end of day 1 over half of the seats have been removed from the orchestra.
Day 2: Seats at the front of the orchestra are moved onto the stage. The last of the seats must be removed along with the rest of the carpet.
Seats from the front orchestra are moved onto the stage.
By the end of day 2 all seats and carpet have been removed from the orchestra. Workers begin picking up pieces of hardware from the seats.
View from the stage of the empty orchestra.
Day 3: The floor must be cleaned and prepped for new carpet installation.
Crews work to vacuum and sweep the floors to prep for new carpet.
Vent boxes are inspected and maintained, any remaining nuts and bolts are picked up.
Last week we launched a brand new website with the same location but a different look. We are so excited about this project that is nearly a year in the making, that we decided to break down all of the new features just for you!
Now you can see the full calendar of events instead of visiting each show page to check out the dates. Of course, you can still visit each show page for fun photos and videos.
This fun new section can be quite helpful when you have family and friends visiting from out of town and need to do some “Hollywood Things”. Of course we always recommend a show but what to do before or after?
Hollywood is full of red carpets, marathons, protests, parades, and filming locations. While these things are all really great they always cause traffic problems. Now you can check our website for any traffic alerts in the area before you head to the show!
When we found out that one of our very own ushers had been cast in Hairspray Live we couldn’t have been more proud! On December 7, 2016 Amos Oliver III and the rest of the cast of Hairspray Live performed in front of an audience of 9 million plus. After the whole exciting adventure, Amos took some time to chat with us about his experience.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?
I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. I went to College at The Boston Conservatory as well as the American Musical and Dramatic Academy-LA
How did you catch the musical theatre bug?
I’ve always been into performing. I’ve always loved being onstage and being able to play someone other than myself. It wasn’t until I was attending The Boston Conservatory until I really understood how much I loved musical theater.
How did you find out about Hairspray Live auditions?
I found out about Hairspray LIVE auditions through my agent. (Go 2 Talent Agency)
What was the audition process like?
The process was a lot of fun. We first learned some of the choreography to “Run and Tell That” and we auditioned it. We then got called back did some scene work and some singing and then we danced again!
What was the first thing you did when you found out you had gotten the part?
The first thing I did when I found out I was cast, was run around the living room of my apartment and scream!! Then once I calmed down I called my mom!
Did you know that your fellow ushers had put together a watch party to cheer you on?
I certainly did know that my fellow ushers threw a party! I thought it was incredibly sweet and I wish I could’ve been there to share such an amazing experience/moment with them!
(See the Facebook Live video of the ushers cheering on Amos)
Tell us how you prepared for this live event. What were rehearsals like?
Well I had been training for so long for something like that so all of my schooling and education really prepared me for that. I knew in my heart that this had always been a dream of, mine and that’s really what helped me stay focused and ready at all times. At the start of rehearsals, we rehearsed 8 hours a day, Mon-Friday! And once the event got closer than we began staying longer and working longer weeks!
On the day of the live event, what was the atmosphere on set?
OMG!!! Everyone was so excited and ready to change the world!! Everyone was so positive and so supportive and they were having such a great time!
What was it like working on set with a live audience?
Working on set was actually really fun for me. We were performing for TV, but we also had the energy of the live audience which really enhanced our level of performance.
What amazing memories will you be taking away from this experience? Any particular moments stand out to you?
Every single second of this experience will be a memory that I take away! NOTHING about this I could ever forget! Every moment was priceless and surreal.
On Saturday, December 10, the Hollywood Pantages played host to the world premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It is a rare occasion to turn this theatrical house into a state of the art movie house but Disney did just that and to stunning effect. With a seventy foot screen, a digital laser projector and over 300 speakers, the historic Hollywood Pantages roared back to life and restored its movie house glory.
Hollywood Pantages General Manager Jeff Loeb and Daughter Cady stand in front of an X-Wing Fighter prop from the film.
From where I sat, with Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) to my left and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) behind me, the little kid who watched the very first Star Wars with his Mom was now about to watch the latest movie with his own daughter. I was both a fan of the movie and excited to see a movie play once again in the theatre. As the movie started to roll, the glow from the screen illuminated the entire audience who were all transfixed, eagerly awaiting the first look at the next Star Wars installment. But for me, I was taken at first not by the movie, but something hard to describe. The theatre felt different for me. I don’t know what the feeling was but it was wonderful. We, the staff, so often take for granted the musicals we present on stage and our ability to present show after show. We forget what a quiet roll the theatre itself plays. But at the premiere, we were allowed to simply admire a wonderful movie, being shown in one of the most beautiful venues in the country. It is a moment I can’t adequately describe and one I won’t soon forget.
Large Rogue One posters line the red carpet of the premiere.
We don’t know when we will host a premiere again, but I, for one, hope it is sooner rather than later. For now, we look forward to the theatrical release of Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical, filmed here at the Hollywood Pantages last September. For a brief moment, the theatre will get to be a part of movie history again.
Costumes from Rogue One are displayed on the red carpet for the premiere.
A tent covers the length of the red carpet due to a threat of rain.
The cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story pose for photos in the X-Wing Fighter
The Pantages marquee is just visible through the tenting on Hollywood Blvd
Rogue One banners cover the front of the Pantages.
A life size TIE-Fighter stands above the bar at the Rogue One after party.
We love a costume display. There is nothing better than opening up a box filled with costumes. Pulling out our mannequins and playing dress up really makes our day. This is why few years back we decided that investing in costume mannequins was going to be in our best interest. We believe that the costumes are another character in the show and we want you to get up close and personal with these beauties. Check out some of our favorite costume displays throughout the years.
Masks from Disney’s The Lion King.
While we know the Lion King masks are not costumes exactly, they are a very crucial piece of the show. These masks with their stunning detail and surprisingly light weight fascinated theatre goers in 2014 and 2015
Phantom of The Opera costumes displayed in the Hollywood Pantages Lobby
The Phantom of The Opera costumes helped to jazz up our booth at the 2015 Festival of Books
The Phantom of the Opera costumes at Dodgers Stadium in 2015
Our Phantom costumes got a bit of a workout! Not only did they preside over the lobby during the 2015 run of The Phantom of the Opera but they also traveled to the Festival of Books and Dodgers Stadium to help us promote the show.
Inside SoCal’s Erica Olsen pictured next to costumes from Bullets Over Broadway
Costumes for Bullets Over Broadway
Inside Socal’s Erica Olsen got all gussied up to help us promote our pre Bullets Over Broadway speakeasy. The costumes pictured were designed by Tony Award Winner William Ivy Long.
The Kinky Boots
Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein showed off the Kinky Boots while receiving their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
While these Kinky Boots never made it to the lobby, they served a pivotal role in the star ceremony for Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper.
Ensemble gown from 42nd Street
This ensemble gown from the number Dames in 42nd Street really surprised us with just how heavy it was. The entire gown is hand beaded. It’s also possible that everyone in the office put the hat on at one point or another!
Ensemble costumes from the finale of White Christmas
The White Christmas ensemble costumes are our newest display in the lobby. What could be better than red and white fleece and a tap shoe?
What costumes would you like to see displayed in our lobby?
Welcome to the 2016-17 Hollywood Pantages Season! We invited our new Season Ticket Holders to make their Pantages Theatre debut at our annual open house. Guests explored the theatre learning about the history and architecture as well as sampling small bites from local area restaurants. We would like to thank all of our neighborhood and restaurant partners for helping us out. A special thank you to Chelsea Lauren for the beautiful photos.
In two weeks we will begin one of the biggest seasons the Hollywood Pantages has ever seen! We know that tickets for the 2016-17 are selling quickly but don’t despair. We want to let you in on the secret that is the mezzanine. We have compiled 7 excellent reasons you should give the mezzanine a try!
1.The ushers will tell you that it is their favorite place in the theatre to sit. Who better to take advice from than someone who has seen the same show from every angle of the theatre multiple times?
2. The stadium seating is more pronounced, much like a movie theater. If you happen to be on the shorter side or are attending the theatre with small children this allows for better visibility should someone tall sit in front of you.
3. Speaking of kids, sitting in the mezzanine is great if you have small children and need to step out frequently for bathroom breaks or need to stretch your legs.
4. The restroom lines move faster upstairs. There are only 950 seats in the mezzanine and 1,750 downstairs. That means there are fewer people using the restrooms upstairs and it helps that the ladies restroom in the mezzanine is the largest ladies room in the theatre.
5. Sitting in the mezzanine feels more intimate. Like we mentioned before, there are only 950 seats in the mezz. Depending on where you are sitting you may not be able to see the folks sitting in the orchestra making it feel like your own private theatre.
6. Secret Tip: Row J in the mezzanine has the most foot room of any row in the theatre. The people in the front row of the theatre may have some extra foot room as well but they are looking straight up the actor’s noses. In row J you get to stretch out and enjoy the view in front of you.
7. The view of the beautiful blue ceiling and chandelier are much better in the mezzanine. Take some time before the show and really explore the ceiling. We find new details in it all the time.
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