Tag Archives: Hollywood

Rooftop Film Club

Picture this. You are on a rooftop in the middle of Hollywood lounging in a comfy chair with snacks in your lap, a drink in your hand and your favorite movie is playing on a big screen. What could be better? We take our movie experiences very seriously here in Hollywood and now the experience is on a whole other level, literally the top level.

13446124_10153467018697531_207469022_o-1_1024x530_acf_cropped

Ariel view of the Rooftop Film Club located on the roof of The Montálban Theatre in Hollywood

The Montálban theatre is getting ready for its second season as a part of the Rooftop Film Club. Taking full advantage of the Montálban rooftop’s beautiful city view, RFC promises to offer some of the most unique and incredible movie-going opportunities for film lovers. You don’t even need to bring your own blanket or camping chair—Rooftop Film Club provides you with your very own comfy lawn chair, as well as blankets on request for the ultimate cozy experience. And instead of listening to the movie over loudspeakers, you’ll get a set of wireless headphones so you never have to miss a word.

unspecified-3

RFC goers enjoy a movie surrounded by the lights of Hollywood

Los Angeles is not the only city partying it up on the rooftops. If you happen to be in London or New York check out their Rooftop Film Clubs as well. For other amazing photos head over to Instagram and look for their hashtag #rooftopfilmclub for more amazing photos.

image8

Movie intro Rooftop Film Club. Photo credit Rosanna Barrón

headphones

Wireless headphones so you don’t miss a word. Photo credit Rosanna Barrón

To learn more about the Rooftop Film Club experience CLICK HERE

 

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.

13016507_10207189320864365_584746084_o

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.

13036526_10207189320384353_1643863394_o

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.

hamauditions

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.

michael

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.

DSC_0282

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

DSC_0368

Sharron Osborne speaks on behalf of Cyndi Lauper

DSC_0409

Sharron Osborne, guest speaker for Cyndi Lauper

DSC_0434

Marissa Jaret Winokur speaks on behalf of Harvey Fierstein

DSC_0474

Marissa Jaret Winokur, guest speaker for Harvey Fierstein

DSC_0346

Official Walk of Fame certificates

DSC_0555

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

DSC_0668

Cyndi sees her star for the first time

DSC_0850

Harvey enjoying his star

DSC_0885

Poses with THE Kinky Boots

DSC_0758

Cyndi waves to her fans

DSC_0863

Harvey can’t get enough of his star

DSC_0937

Stars appropriately placed outside The Frolic Room

DSC_0722

Rock Star Pose

DSC_0063

Harvey signing autographs for fans

DSC_0115

Cyndi signs an autograph for a young fan

DSC_0124

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.

IMG_4034

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.

IMG_4046

Hand beaded ensemble dress from 42nd Street.

IMG_4038

Peter Pan costume from Finding Neverland on Broadway.

IMG_4040

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

IMG_4042

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

IMG_4039

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

IMG_4044

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

P. Swayze

If you have been to a performance of Dirty Dancing over the last three weeks you may have noticed a familiar face in the lobby. On loan from Madame Tussauds Hollywood, the Patrick Swayze wax figure draws a huge crowd, giving patrons the opportunity to share that magical moment on the log. See some of our favorite photos and some interesting facts about the Madame Tussauds wax figures below.

Did You Know?

  •  Each strand of hair is inserted individually, taking approximately five weeks to complete each head.
  •  Two maintenance teams inspect and primp each figure daily before the attraction opens.
  • To add authenticity to the figures at Madame Tussauds, many artifacts have been donated from the celebrity or purchased from auctions.
  •  All figures have their hair washed and make-up retouched regularly.
  •  From the first private sitting with a celebrity to completion, it takes approximately four months to create a figure. 
  • More than 250 precise measurements and photographs of a subject are taken to accurately create a wax figure.
  • If the subject is unavailable for these measurements and photographs, Madame Tussauds studio artists study hundreds of photos and watch hours of video to create the figure.
  •  All celebrities’ vital statistics are kept confidential – despite repeated requests from the public and media. 
  • Because wax shrinks, wax figures are made two percent larger than the real life subjects they portray. 
  • Red silk thread is used to create the veins on each eyeball.
  •  Knotted rope is used to create the look of veins on the bodies.
  •  Each figure costs approximately $125,000 to make.

FullSizeRender8 12592311_10153892110479105_8902163655570901116_n FullSizeRender FullSizeRender2 FullSizeRender4 FullSizeRender5 FullSizeRender6 FullSizeRender7

20160217_223125

20160217_222930

For more information about Madame Tussauds CLICK HERE

Returning to “Tomorrow” Today With Martin Charnin

Evan Henerson

It takes a certain perseverance and resilience of spirit to create a musical about perseverance and resiliency.  Just ask writer-director Martin Charnin who keeps framed rejection letters from the early to mid 1970s mounted on his walls. Those epistles were sent by dubious producers who advised Charnin and his co-creators to abandon the idea of bringing the saga of a certain cartoon orphan to the musical theater stage and move on to a different subject.

“I treasure them,” Charnin says of the letters. “It’s a good lesson. Sometimes people don’t like what you do.”

But sometimes they do. The original production of “Annie,” which lyricist and original director Charnin created with composer Charles Strouse and librettist Thomas Meehan, ran for 2,377 performances on Broadway. There have been two Broadway revivals and multiple touring companies. Between Broadway, road companies, regional and international productions, Charnin has now directed the musical 19 times.

One need not necessarily be a glass-half-full minded individual to identify with “Annie,” but that spirit is part of what keeps Charnin returning to the well. After a successful theatrical career that began in 1957, the Emmy and Tony award-winning Charnin certainly knows that “the sun’ll come out tomorrow,” but he figures that the world can often use a similar wake-up call.

“I really am reminded every time I do it what the show’s initial message was, and that’s how I basically get the optimism that is up on the stage for two hours,” Charnin says. “That’s something that I need. I think everybody needs a tap on shoulder to remind them that, as awful or as bleak or as difficult as it may be today, there might be something better around the corner.”

“That’s a valuable message to have in your wheelhouse,” he continues. “Certainly for the last 38 years that it’s been playing, that seems to be the message every time we enter a political year. The message becomes a little more pertinent.”

Asked whether the show ever served as a pick-me-up in the director’s own life, Charnin harks back to the original production…the one that produced those rejection letters. It took seven years and multiple passes to finally get “Annie” on stage first at the Goodspeed Opera House and then to Broadway. When “Annie” finally arrived in the late 1970s, it premiered when national spirits were not exactly at their highest.

“The country was in dismal shape when we started to work on it,” he says. “Nixon, Vietnam, a bad economy and everything started to turn around in 1976. In 1977, everything exploded in a positive way.”

Set as the musical is in the winter of 1933 against the effects of the Great Depression, “Annie” follows its 11-year-old heroine of comic strip fame as she moves through a series of hardships en route to a fairy tale ending in the home of Oliver Warbucks. Our Annie’s never-say-die spunkiness is intended to be a bellwether for dealing with the types of difficulties faced by post-Depression era America.

In the midst of her quest, Annie belts out a song that articulates her hopefulness… a certain song that has become more than a little bit famous as evidenced by the fact that it is now one of the 100 most frequently performed musical theater songs.

Perhaps you’ve heard the tune? A one-word title that rhymes with the words “you borrow”?

“We needed a moment early in the show that kinds of defines Annie musically,” Charnin recalls. “We find out a lot about her in ‘Maybe’ which opens the show and which tells us things in terms of plot. What we find out in ‘Tomorrow’ is her attitude.”

Over the ensuing years Charnin, has heard “Tomorrow” performed in multiple languages and in a variety of contexts.

“One of the funniest ways that I remember it was when they used it to accompany a commercial showing all of the playbacks from an NFL season,” Charnin says. “The day after the season ended, the players were all getting their gear together and leaving the stadiums. All of the quarterbacks are thinking about tomorrow and the next season.”

“I guess we always live in the present and we go to bed and wake up and it’s the future,” he says. We’re lucky to have locked that title up and made it work on so many levels.”

Any young lady who sings “Tomorrow” has to project not only hopefulness, but the grit that it will require to power through those tough times. Having worked with dozens of young girls – both portrayers of Annies and her fellow orphans – Charnin emphasizes that the character is “not Shirley Temple.”

“That’s a common misperception,” the director says. “She’s got to have a toughness and a sense of stick-to-it-iveness. And obviously she has to have a set of pipes. Annie’s a survivor. She confronts a lot of different things in the context of the script. Basically that’s what she was in the cartoon when we first read it, and that’s what attracted me to the character.”

Charnin cites the impressive history of stage Annies from original Broadway creator Andrea McArdle all the way through the current tour’s Issie Swickle. You want resiliency?  How about starting your professional career while you’re still in elementary school and still be able to ply your trade three decades later, maybe even as the mother of an acting child yourself? “Annie” has its share of break-out stars from Allison Smith to Sarah Jessica Parker to a young Welsh actress from the London company, Catherine Zeta Jones.

“I get a big charge from working with the kids,” says Charnin. “We have had quite a lot of luck finding young ladies who were 10 or 11 who have gone on to have terrific careers.”

With the “Annie” tour successfully launched, Charnin is hard at work on other projects including a musical about the life of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish humanitarian credited with saving the lives of tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust. Charnin is also working on a revival of the “Annie” sequel “Annie Warbucks” potentially for a New York opening during the 2016-17 season. Ideally, Charnin says, “Annie” and “Annie Warbucks” would play in repertory at the same theater so that you can see the shows on alternating nights or – “Nicholas Nickleby” style – as a same day two show weekend marathon.

Of course, wherever his creative journeys take him, Charnin always figures to have the opportunity to return to a production of “Annie” somewhere, sometime. As the last nearly 40 years have established, the appetite for this tale has by no means abated.

With this new incarnation, Charnin hopes that people who saw the musical as a child might revisit it and take home new memories. For audiences who are returning to the musical many years later, perceptions should be based on what is on stage rather than on memories that have been distorted by the passage of time or other versions of the story, Charnin says.

“Part of what this show is about is a reminder to look at it again, and then make your judgment,” Charnin says. “The hope is people take to it in the same way they did and have been for almost four decades.”

Bet your bottom dollar!

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 Examiner.com.

How Many People Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

How many people does it take to change a light bulb? When it comes to our three grand chandeliers in the lobby at the Hollywood Pantages…at least four! In order to keep these beauties burning bright a team of four has to hand crank the three chandeliers down to just inches above the floor and the banisters. Check out the photos and video to see the phenomenon for yourself!

A ladder is used to reach the bulbs in the top half of the chandelier.

A ladder is used to reach the bulbs in the top half of the chandelier.

Chandelier hangs over house left grand staircase.

Chandelier hangs over house left grand staircase.

All lower bulbs have to be reached from the ground.

All lower bulbs have to be reached from the ground.

Floor

Center chandelier lowers to a mere 6 inches off the ground.

Inside

Inside the center chandelier from the top.

 

 

 

Welcome to The 2703

Welcome to The 2703, the brand new Hollywood Pantages Blog. One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “How many seats are in the theatre?” The answer to that question and the name of our blog is 2,703. It’s that kind of insider knowledge we want to share with you! Have you ever wondered what happens at the Hollywood Pantages while you’re not here? We want to peak your curiosity, take you behind the scenes, into rehearsal rooms, and out into Hollywood. We want to give back to our audiences that fill The 2703 every performance.