Amos Oliver III

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.

via GIPHY

What’s next for you? What would be the ultimate dream job/role?

I am not quite sure what’s next for me, but I know it will be something incredible! The dream role job after doing Hairspray LIVE, would be performing it on Broadway!

What advice would you have for others pursuing this path?

No matter what anyone says, you can do whatever you put your mind to. You control your own destiny. I believe in that wholeheartedly.

You can catch Amos in Hairspray Live again December 26th at 8pm only on NBC!

 

 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story World Premiere

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.

Jeff Loeb

General Manager

Hollywood Pantages

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.

World’s Best Chicken Pot Pie

We like to think that when you come to the theatre you become part of our family. It doesn’t matter if you are joining us for one night or you are joining us for the whole season.  Just across the street, the large windows of Wood and Vine reflect the bright neon lights of the Hollywood Pantages, and inside another family is hard at work.

In January, Natalie Soward will become the head of her family when she officially takes over the menu as Wood and Vine’s New Executive Chef. Like many in her profession, Soward started as a Junior Sous Chef and worked her way up the ranks, learning from the former Executive Chef and adding her own flair to the menu from time to time. The promotion comes with a little extra paperwork and a lot more responsibility for Soward, but the best part is that she gets to create a whole new menu of her own.

Natalie Soward pictured holding her chicken pot pie.

“Because I’m from the South, I want to aim more towards Southern food. I’m all about comfort food,” Natalie explains as she describes her new menu ideas. Soward grew up in Louisiana, 2 hours outside of New Orleans. She remembers waking up every morning to the smell of gumbo or some other classic southern dish. Her mother, a teacher, would prep meals in the morning so that she could have them ready to go for dinner that night. “Growing up, my whole life revolved around food.”

Upon graduating high school, she decided to head to college to pursue a degree in graphic design. “I’ve always been an artist. I have my degree in fine arts, graphic design, and the culinary arts. I worked behind a desk for a while, but it just wasn’t for me.”

Natalie’s stuffed mushrooms on the left and chicken pot pie on the right

Soward got started at Wood and Vine when the chef at the time, someone she had worked with previously, reached out for some help in the kitchen.”The thing that really sold me on this place is that it’s like one big family. We take care of each other and help each other out. This is why I’m still here two years later,” Soward explains. As she talks about her work family, it is clear that the love is not contained just to the kitchen but spills out into the dining area filled with guests servers and bartenders.

“I do it for the art of the food. The nostalgic emotional part of the food because that’s how I was raised. Every celebration and every happy moment revolved around the food. A server came into the kitchen and said that a customer who had been a chef for 20 years said the chicken pot pie was the best she had had in her life. Hearing that makes all of the hard work worth it.”

Natalie Soward Wood and Vine Executive Chef

Soward plans to change up the menu in January to include possible dishes like gumbo, home-style spaghetti, B-B-Q dumplings and more. She also wants to open up the restaurant for craw-fish boils as well as beer and wine tastings. Wood and Vine loves to host Holiday parties, birthday parties, showers and more. “We want people to come make memories here. After all, how many times do we celebrate something and food isn’t involved?”

We are so happy that Soward found her place just across the street from the Pantages where seeing a show can create lasting memories, much like the food she is so passionate about. “I love walking through the restaurant and seeing that elderly couple sharing their food, or watching someone take that first bite. It’s how people gain their experiences.”

Natalie pictured with her three dishes on the current Wood and Vine menu. From left: chicken pot pit, stuffed mushrooms, and bread pudding

From our family to yours; Congratulations, Natalie, on your promotion. We look forward to all of the yumminess you have in store for us! To make some memories of your own, visit www.woodandvine.com for reservations, hours, menu and parking information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I

The partnership between composer Richard Rodgers and librettist/lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II is well known in the musical theatre world. Together, they have produced such works as Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific and The King and I. Check out these interesting facts about the creation of this timeless piece.

Laura Michelle Kelly as Anna and the royal children photo by Matthew Murphy

  • The King and I is loosely based on the fictional novel The English Governess at the Siamese Court.  
  • The novel, written by Margaret Landon, is an embellished re-imagining of the memoirs of Anna Leonowens’ account of teaching English in the court of the Siamese King Mongkut.
  • The idea for the musical was proposed by Fanny Holtzmann, an attorney for Gertrude Lawrence in an attempt to revive her dwindling career.
  • Neither Rodgers or Hammerstein were intitially interested in the idea but proceeded with the project as urged by their wives who were fans of the novel.
rodgers-hammerstein

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are pictured auditioning hopefuls at the St James Theatre.

  • Both Rodgers and Hammerstein struggled with how to convey the cultural context of the story.
  • Rodgers wanted to reference Asian music without alienating a Western audience. He stopped short of incorporating traditional Thai music and instead settled on some unusual chords to convey a foreign mood.
  • Hammerstein wrote the King’s dialogue without using articles – a manner of speech common to many Asian languages.

Manna Nichols and Kavin Panmeechao photo by Matthew Murphy

  • The romance between Lun Tha and Tuptim was scripted primarily so that Rodgers could write some of the romantic tunes he was famous for – as it would be inappropriate to stage a cross-cultural romance between the King and Anna. An attraction between the Thai King and British governess is merely suggested in the musical.
download

Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner in the Broadway production of The King and I (1951)

  • The musical opened on Broadway in 1951 starring British actress Gertrude Lawrence as Anna and Russian actor and director Yul Brynner as  the King of Siam.
  • Brynner was then relatively unknown, but shot to stardom for his performance in the hit.
  • The show played for three years, but lost its leading lady when Lawrence died of liver cancer halfway through the run.
  • Gertrude Lawrence became the first person to ever have the lights on Broadway dim after her death. Check out our blog Dimming the Lights to learn more.
untitled2

Laura Michelle Kelly, Baylen Thomas and Graham Montgomery photo by Matthew Murphy

  • The show had an initial budget of US$250,000 – which was at that time the most expensive Rodgers & Hammerstein musical ever made
  • Lawrence had to wear costume gowns that weighed up to 34 kg, and her character danced a total of 6.4km in every performance, eight shows a week. Lawrence was buried in one of her costumes from the show.

untitled3

  • Through the initial run and several revivals, Yul Brynner performed the role of the King more than 4,600 times.
  • Yul Brynner reprised his role as the king on tour at the Hollywood Pantages in 1979
untitled4

Show poster of The King and I starring Yul Brynner (1979)

  • a 1956 film took the musical from Broadway success to international smash hit. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won five.
  • The film was (and still is) banned in Thailand as it was deemed disrespectful to the monarchy – an offence which breaks several of the country’s laws.

For tickets and more information about The King and I CLICK HERE.

Costume Displays

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.

lionkingmasks

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

phantomcostumes

Phantom of The Opera costumes displayed in the Hollywood Pantages Lobby

phantomfob

The Phantom of The Opera costumes helped to jazz up our booth at the 2015 Festival of Books

phantomcostumes-dodgers

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.

DSC_0685

Inside SoCal’s Erica Olsen pictured next to costumes from Bullets Over Broadway

bullets

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.

img_4051

The Kinky Boots

DSC_0904

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.

IMG_4046

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!

whitexmas

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?

Holidays in Hollywood

While some people dream of a white Christmas, most Angelenos are quite content drinking their peppermint mocha’s in 80 degree weather. The constant sunshine and enticing temperatures means that many folks in Los Angeles end up with a house full of family around the holidays. In an effort to help you get the in laws out of the house for a few hours we have compiled a list of things to do in Hollywood this holiday season.

The Escape Hotel

46932094_1

The Escape Hotel opened in Hollywood in early 2016.  Escape rooms are best be described as a live puzzle game, utilizing a team (from two-12 people, depending on the size of the room and your ability to get along with others) to figure out clues and puzzles, and that all add up to the ability to unlock a door after a set amount of time (usually 30 minutes to an hour, again depending on your ability to get along with others; if you’re super-stuck, there’s always someone watching who’ll give you a hint… if you want it).

Escape Hotel would like to offer season ticket holders a 10% discount on individual tickets and a 15% discount on group tickets. To receive the discount holders will need to contact Escape Hotel Hollywood at 323-848-4954 and use the special password, Lloyd.

Website: http://escapehotelhollywood.com/

 

The Laugh Factory46932094_logo

 

Opening its doors in 1979, the World Famous Laugh Factory has been recognized as “the #1 comedy club in the country” by such high-profile media as USA Today. With southern California locations in Hollywood (its original Sunset Boulevard locale) and Long Beach (opened in 2008), comedy’s top stars, as well as today’s brightest emerging talent, shine on its legendary stage.

Complimentary General Admission tickets for up to four guests to our Hollywood location. Guests may choose from our Monday – Thursday, 8PM or 10PM shows.
2 drink minimum. 18+

To make your reservation please call our box office in advance, (323) 656-1336 ext 1.

Make sure to mention the Hollywood Pantages to redeem your complimentary tickets.

Exceptions apply. No special events. Monday-Thursday only.

Website: www.laughfactory.com  

 

Starline Tours

46932094_pantage_theatre_promo_

As L.A.’s leading sightseeing company, Starline Tours is pleased to offer a wide range of exciting Los Angeles tours from our Hollywood terminal. Discover the unique celebrity culture and history of this fascinating city, or let us conveniently transport you to and from many of Southern California’s most popular attractions!

Starline Tours is offering buy one, get one half off! Season Ticket Holders call 1 (800) 959-3131 for special rate.Blackout Dates: November 25 – 26, 2016 and December 26 – January 8, 2017

Website: www.StarlineTours.com  

 

Museum of Broken Relationships

46932094_mobr_main_web

The Museum of Broken Relationships explores broken love and other human relationships – what they mean to us, what they tell us about what we share and how we can learn and grow from them.  It is composed of objects donated anonymously by members of the public from all over the world.  Each exhibit is an object (some of them ordinary, some of them extraordinary) and a story, which together recount a watershed event in someone’s life.

15% off tickets for season ticket holders.

Website: http://brokenships.la

 

The Pink Carpet

The 2016-17 Season has officially begun. There is nothing more fun than kicking off a new season than with a red carpet opening night. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a special show that deserved a special PINK carpet. In this blog, see how we do everything from pink carpet set up to the celebs that joined us for the opening.

zelda-williams-3-png

Zelda Williams (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

judy-greer

Judy Greer (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

demi-moore-group-2

From Left: Scout Willis, Tallulah Belle Willis, Arianne Phillips, and Demi Moore (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

margaret-cho-2

Margaret Cho (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

courtney-love

Courtney Love (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

john-stamos-2

John Stamos (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

vincent-rodriguez-iii-2

Vincent Rodriguez III (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

rider-strong-2

Rider Strong (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

ross-mathews

Ross Matthews (photo by Chelsea Lauren)

 

2016-17 Season Ticket Holder Open House

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.

CL1_4008 CL1_4321 CL1_4046 CL1_4073 CL1_4100 CL1_4112 CL1_4137 CL1_4158 CL1_4166 CL1_4208 CL1_4235 CL1_4285 CL1_4226 CL1_4289 CL1_4313 CL1_4350 CL1_4375 CL1_4405 CL1_4414 CL1_4441 CL1_4456 CL1_4493 CL1_4511 CL1_4558 CL1_4572 CL1_4585 CL1_4663 CL1_4693 CL1_4753

7 Reasons Why the Mezzanine is the Best!

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?

ushers1

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.

image2.5

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.

TRK_9527

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.

pantages_0973

 

 

The Ultimate TBT

Enjoy an ultimate Throw Back Thursday photo collection of our historic theatre. Most of the photos below were taken in the 1950’s. Imagine the people you would have seen walking through the doors at that time.

pantages10ladiesloungemirrors

Ladies mirrored lounge on house right near the lower bar.

Pantages13ladieslounge.e

Lounge now used as offices for our Front of House Manager.

1992-2250

Looking over the mezzanine.

1992-2252

The Grand Chandelier inside of the theatre.

1992-2254

A view of the center colonnade from the lobby. Currently the location of the concessions stand.

1992-2271

Original box office located in the center of the outer lobby..

1992-2272

Poster windows still utilized today.

1992-2275

Front door entrance hallway.

1992-2279

Original lobby chandelier.

1992-2259

Original center mural pictured above the stage.

1992-2260

A view of the theatre seats from behind the side stage curtain.

1992-2273

Another look at the poster windows.

1992-2277

Front doors to the theatre from the outer lobby.

1992-2285

Plush couches and benches line the colonnade.

1992-2292

Mezzanine staircase landing. Currently home to one of the theatre’s bars.

1992-2295

Mezzanine staircase landing.

1992-2298

Chairs located outside the center mezzanine doors.

1992-2322

The theatre lobby.

Pantages4fountininfoyay

Decorated drinking fountain located near door 5 in the colonnade.

Pantage 1930

Exterior of theatre taken in 1930 shortly after the theatre’s opening.