Road Trip to Las Vegas

I had decided many months ago that spring of 2015 would be the time for some big changes in my life. Little did I know when planning my move last fall that my best friend would get a job offer and make a move ahead of me. Of course, I’m happy for this man that I’ve come to love so much. Who wouldn’t be? He had the opportunity to move to Las Vegas and while I hated to see him leave me in Memphis, I understood that life does not stand still and that there was no way he could pass by this chance to start fresh in his own life. My devious, little mind decided to prolong the having to say good-bye part and volunteered to do the long road trip to Las Vegas, sitting beside him in the bright yellow Penske truck while towing his car behind us. It meant another week before we had to say good-bye and even though I had come down with the flu only days before we left, I wouldn’t have missed this road trip for anything in the world.

We pulled out of Memphis at around 8:00am on Wednesday morning and crossed out of Tennessee with the early morning sun at our backs and the wild west in front of us. It started raining not longer after we drove into Arkansas and we had a steady but light rain for our drive across The Natural State. Arkansas is at the very southern end of the Ozark mountains and our terrain was a gentle up and down through green, rolling hills. The interstate bypasses Little Rock, so there were really no cities to see or to travel through, just miles upon miles of evergreen trees and the bare branches of all the other trees as we were still entrenched in winter in the Mid-South. Our drive was peaceful and uneventful and filled with quiet conversation.

Arkansas gave way to Oklahoma after we passed by Fort Smith and Russelville and we left behind towns with names like Toad Suck and Pickles Gap. Within a mile of crossing into Oklahoma, the rain gave way to sleet and freezing rain and another thirty miles or so, the rain changed over to big fat snow flakes with a strong wind blowing them every which way. We stopped and got gas and discussed how much further we should attempt to drive in the snow and decided that we should push on and try to make it to Oklahoma City before we stopped for the night. The road conditions were good at first, then we would get a driving snow storm and then it would clear for a few miles. We continued on into the early evening before we finally hit another batch of wind blown snow and decided that we needed to look for a place to pull off for the night before the road got really bad. Thank goodness for billboards and thank goodness we found a really nice place called, The Grand Hotel to finally stop at and take refuge from the late winter storm.

After pulling off, parking and getting a room, we traveled back down to the truck for suitcases and favorite pillows only to find that the locks were all frozen shut. Even the one on the back of the Penske which was an ordinary padlock. The snow was falling, the temperatures were in the teens and the wind was howling from the north at about 30 miles per hour. If I had been by myself or with anyone else, I would have been spending the night in Shawnee, Oklahoma in the same clothes that I had worn all day, but I was with my bestie who was determined to get into the truck that night. With a tiny Bic lighter and both us trying to shield the flame from the wind with our hands and bodies, he persevered until the locking mechanism finally warmed enough to allow the key to turn in the lock. We were in! And, with that we made our way back into the hotel for some dinner and a little fun. We ended up staying up half the night before finally closing our eyes.

snow in oklahoma

After a nice breakfast which included conversation with a 92 year old, World War II veteran, we loaded our suitcases back into the Penske and headed west on Interstate 40 once again. Earlier that morning, Lee had managed to use de-icer to get into the front of the truck and had sat in the cold, frozen parking lot warming up the truck and getting us ready for another day on the road. The storm had moved east overnight and while it was still cold, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and we made our way mile by mile across the rest of Oklahoma and finally crossed into Texas early in the afternoon. A quick stop at a Denny’s in Amarillo and a quick resecuring of the straps that were holding the car on the tow dolly and we were bound and determined to make it to New Mexico before we called it a day. We stopped and asked a trucker who told us about a town called Saint Rose and while eating our nachos and burger, we tried to find a motel convenient to the interstate in this place the trucker said was full of motels. Lesson learned. Don’t ask a trucker who has such a thick southern accent that you misunderstand the name of the town. We quickly found out that there was no such town, but after a little research by the bestie, we found out that there is a town named, Santa Rosa and we both had to laugh about it.

We pointed the truck west once again and drove across the panhandle of Texas and into New Mexico. There was absolutely nothing to look at except for cows, horses and tumbleweeds. Amidst conversation, my bestie started making mooing sounds or neighing sounds whenever we would spot cows and horses grazing in the endless fields on both sides of the road. There were manly moos for the steers, feminine moos for the cows and the cutest baby moos for the calfs. The horse neighs were also subtle in their differences, but we decided that there were happy horses and not so happy horses and of course Lee made all the appropriate sounds. I finally decided to get in on the game and saw a group of cows that included several young calfs and some tiny, tiny babies. I thought I could make a youthful cow sound and what came out was, baaaaaaaawwwwww! The only sound I could make was the sound of a sheep of which we had yet to see any on the trip. It was hilarious! We laughed until we both were coughing and for the next several hours whenever I would see a baby cow I would make the sound of a sheep. It never did stop being funny. I’m sure that for the rest of my life, whenever I see cows, I will think about our long trek across Texas and New Mexico and the camaraderie and laughter that we shared across the country.

We finally made it to our room in Santa Rosa and got a good night’s sleep before heading out in a fog-shrouded valley early the next morning. New Mexico seemed like miles and miles of nothing until we made the gentle climb up the mountains and descended into Albuquerque. It seemed to take forever to finally reach the bottom of the valley and once we left the city behind, the desert stretched out before us with rock formations, scrub brush and stunted cactus. The drive through New Mexico and Arizona had this exotic quality to it, and at times felt almost extra-terrestrial. As if we were driving across Mars or another planet deep into the solar system. There were little towns here and there that were sad to behold and it was hard to think about what the people who lived there did for jobs or fun and wondered what their lives were like.

new mexico

Arizona looked a lot like New Mexico and the desert streched for miles and miles until the San Francisco Peaks came into view. The highest point of the mountain range is called Humphrey’s Peak and the mountain reaches 12,633 feet into the sky. It is the highest point in Arizona and to just see it suddenly in the distance of the flat horizon was magnificent. This mountain range is what’s left of an eroded stratovolcano. As we drove closer and closer, the view of the peaks brought goose bumps and an appreciation for this stark, barren landscape that holds such a treasure. One entire side of the San Francisco Peaks was snow covered and the snow seemed to cover the mountain from the impossibly high peak to the gentle slope at it’s base where it rises powerfully from the desert floor. Quite a sight.

We encountered snow on the sides of the road before long as we gently wound our way up to Flagstaff. The roads were terrible due to the changing weather condiditons, and the day was becoming long at that point in the drive as well. Our next landmark to look for was Kingman, Arizona and for whatever reason, the drive seemed to go on forever and forever driving over one hill and then down the next. I can honestly say that from Flagstaff to Las Vegas was what seemed like the longest drive of my life and it wasn’t until we finally made it through Kingman and got off the interstate that we had now travelled for three days, that I started to believe that the end of the trip might just be in sight. By this time, the sun had sunk below the horizon and the highway was dark, though busy with tourists all headed the same direction as us. About 40 miles out of the Las Vegas valley, we started to see a glow behind the mountain tops and I declared the bright light in the distance to be Sin City and we both started to get excited.

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The last hour of the drive from Memphis to Las Vegas had it’s own ups and downs including a lot of ups and downs. We had seen signs along the 1600 mile journey for deer, and falling rock and even moose. But on the last highway we saw signs for rams. Big, horned, rams! What are they doing in Arizona? I could finally make the sheep noise that I had perfected by now and with adding just a little bass to my voice, I became the ram. Baaaaaaaaa! Finally got it right. The other thing was that the last few miles in Arizona were the scariest of the whole trip. We were winding our way through rough, rocky gorges and there were wind warnings about what lane high profiled vehicles should be driving in. Combined with the threat of huge horned animals leaping onto the roadway, I have to say I ended up breaking a few fingernails from holding onto to the armrests so tightly. We crossed by Hoover Dam but I couldn’t see anything. We made our way into Nevada and into the little border town of Boulder City. And, it felt like the end was near.

hoover dam

We finally topped the rise that overlooks the Las Vegas valley and it was so enchantingly beautiful that I literally caught my breath and became emotional. There’s no other sight like it in all the world. The entire valley is spread out below and it glitters with a billion gold and silver lights. The air is so dry that the lights are brilliant in a way that is impossible anywhere else on our planet. The lights twinkle and sparkle and shine with magic stardust and quiet moonbeams. It truly is Cibola after a long journey, and I’ll never forget that sight for as long as I live.

las vegas at night

We finally pulled into our motel early on a late winter’s evening, and my best friend was home. He had never seen Las Vegas before, except from the airport and I couldn’t wait to show him around. We had just had an incredible trip that I know neither one of us will ever forget. It was long and stressful and tiring. We were both somewhat sick and the weather was definitely less than ideal. But, it was still some of the best memories that I’ve ever made. I will cherish each and every mile that we travelled and I will never forget the laughter and the love. I wish my friend well in his new city and with his new job. I know that wherever life takes him, he will be successful and happy. I want to thank Lee for including me in his cross-country journey and for allowing me to be a part of his life. Good luck, my friend, and thanks for the road trip of a lifetime.

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Disney’s Lion King….The Musical

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My first Broadway musical was Mary Poppins and out of all the shows I’ve attended, it has always been my favorite.  Until last night.  Lion King is now in the number one spot, followed by Mary Poppins.  Credit goes to Disney for creating their signature magic in both of these amazing stage productions.

Obviously, the music is a big part of any Broadway musical, hence the name.  But, we all know that Disney hit it out of the ballpark when they enlisted Elton John and Tim Rice to write the songs. I’ve been an Elton John fan since the first time I heard him sing Your Song, but to hear the emotions of songs like Circle of Life and Can you feel the love tonight, live and surround you in that old, beautiful theatre, was a memory that will never be forgotten. I know I’ve talked about magical nights before, but Lion King was the epitome of all magical nights.

This production of the Lion King brought cheers and shouts from the audience and a standing ovation at the end. I think it’s partly because we all know and love the characters and know the story-line so well. But, what really sets this show apart from others is the costuming, the colors and the artistry. That’s how I viewed the giraffes and birds and even Scar’s hyenas…as art. The puppetry is different from anything I’ve ever seen with live actors portraying wilderbeasts, zebra and even the African savannah grasslands.  At one point, a procession of these animals make their way up both aisles of the theatre and take the stage while the drums beat strongly and the harmonies fill your heart.  I can’t tell you how many times during the night I had goose bumps and you know I cried buckets of emotional tears.

Rafiki was one of my favorite characters and in this perfomance, Rafiki is portrayed as female, and the actress,  who plays the wise baboon did an absolutely brilliant job including an engaging tirade that including the famous clicks of some African languages. No one understood a single word she uttered and yet, we all knew exactly what she was saying. Amazing performance.  I was also very impressed with the young actors that portrayed Simba and Nala. When I see young people already living their lives in such an artistic and meaningful way, it gives me great hope for the human race.

One thing occurred to me last night as I sat mesmerized and enchanted and felt my heart expand and my capacity for love for my fellow earthlings increase ten fold. We should expose the people in this world that perpetrate hate and violence to shows like this. I can’t imagine anyone, no matter how evil, watching this show and not feeling changed for the better.  The story line for the Lion King is one of my favorite with the underlying theme being courage, bravery and love.

The best ones are always all about love.

Thank you to Disney and the marvelous cast of this show for showcasing it so well.

This was my last show at The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis.  I had moments last night that I wanted to feel a bit sad, knowing how much I will miss this old place.  But, how can I feel anything but grateful? I’m so grateful that my bestie introduced me to Broadway musicals and that I got to feel the energy and excitement for more than two years. I’m thankful that for a city the size of Memphis, that there are enough people that care about the arts and stage to continue to bring these caliber of shows to The Orpheum. I’m also forever grateful for all the magical memories I’ve got stored away for the less than sunshiney days.

What a way to end a run…….

lion king one

Once

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Broadway’s production of Once graced our lovely city with a great performance last night at The Orpheum Theatre.  This was my twelfth show to see at The Orpheum and it did not disappoint.  Two of the things I like most about Broadway shows is their originality and of course, the music.  Once was a completely different kind of show without a lot of fancy stage sets or elaborate costuming, and the story was so real, so emotional, you didnt need or want a lot of distractions. This was one of the most touching shows I have seen. It was simply amazing in it’s simplicity of telling a story between a guy and a girl.

Once is a story of a young, talented musician and it is set in a pub in Dublin, Ireland.  Upon walking in to the theater, your eyes are drawn to the stage where they are letting members of the audience mingle and order some cocktails from what appears to be a real bar. The cast are already present and they break out into impromtu songs with the audience still gathered around them on stage. Every cast member has an instrument and the folk music they are playing is accented with heavy stomping on the stage floor and lots of energy from both the cast and the audience. The members of the audience that have been up on stage are slowly sent back to their seats while the music continues.  The house lights stay up for a couple of more songs and I wasn’t quite sure when the actual show commenced, but it was very cool in it’s casualness and gave the gigantic room a feeling of hominess and warmth.

Early in the show all the stage lights go out except for a gold light that strikes our young musician upon the stage and bathes him in this glow that seems to come from his guitar and from the emotion with which he belts out his original tunes.  When the girl enters and keeps him from leaving his guitar behind in disgust, she looks like a Tolkien fairy princess who just might live in the real world. She’s a young immigrant from Czeckoslavakia that has a little girl named, Ivanka and we learn that she is in a loveless and possibly abusive marriage. Her husband has run out on her and the child and her family has taken her in. When girl meets guy, there is chemistry and destiny and throughout the show, you root for them to find a way to be together.  When the girl approaches the piano for the first time she explains that you must always say hello to a piano, and when she does say hello, you feel the love and tenderness she has for the instrument and for the songs.  When they sing the duet, “Falling Slowly”, the tears became a torrent. Towards the end of the show, there is a scene where every actor on stage sings a quiet song in such an ethereal way as to make the angels in heaven jealous.  You know I cry at every show, but when the ensemble performed that perfectly quiet song with such emotion and with such beauty, I literally sobbed in my seat.

I wasn’t the only one feeling slightly overwhelmed with all the emotions that the songs and the story brought out in me. When the show was over and the cast came out to take their second bow, I saw the girl actually wipe tears from her eyes as she walked to the edge of the stage.  When it’s this good, it’s not called acting anymore,  it’s  just called brilliant.

Nearly every performance that we have seen includes a speech at the end of the night about an organization called, Broadway Cares. One of the actors takes a couple minutes to explain what Broadway Cares does and asks for donations on our way out of the building. This is a wonderful and caring charity that provides support for people with Aids/HIV and since 1988 has raised more than 250 million dollars from donations from theatre patrons.  We were especially impressed last night that it was the leading man and the leading lady who missed the final curtain call because they were already in the lobby, with buckets to collect our donations. They missed some well earned accolades and instead, allowed the crowd to gather round them while they helped make the world a better place. What a great group of people, both on the stage and off.

So, another perfect night in Memphis goes into the book. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to unearth an entirely new side of myself in discovering my love for Broadway and my love for the stories. As a writer, I compare the words in each song to the words in my heart and then want to take the words from my heart and put them on paper in such a way as to bring out that same feeling and love that these musicals and plays evoke in me.  I’m thinking one day, there just might be a screenplay in my heart, just begging to get out. I already have the name…..Life, The Musical.

The Phantom of the Opera

phantom

There are times in your life when you get to experience something that changes who you are. Last night, I had the priviledge of getting to see, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at the beautiful and historic Orpheum Theatre in Memphis. I have seen both movie versions and anyone I’ve spoken with has told me what a magnificent production this musical brings to stage. I thought I was prepared, but I was not. I walked into the Orpheum last night expecting to be dazzled and amazed and the show did not disappoint. It was bigger than anything I could have imagined and the music was magical all by itself.

The Orpheum Theatre underwent a 10 million dollar renovation back in 1996 so that they could bring shows of this size to Memphis.  I for one, am very appreciative and impressed like always that Memphis and more specifically, Pat Halloran and The Orpheum Theatre have worked so tirelessly to lure these Broadway productions to our little city.  My first musical was Mary Poppins and it was a show that will always be at the top of the list in my heart of favorites, but The Phantom of the Opera shot straight to the top with it’s beautiful costuming, elaborate sets, superb story-teling and haunting melodies.

The Phantom of the Opera is based on the book by Gaston Leroux and was first published as a serialisation in France in 1909.  I grew up seeing the 1925 Lon Chaney version once or twice and then I finally got the see the 2005 film version a couple of years ago.  The older film version is a classic Universal monster movie with plenty of bad acting and a story line that while consistant is very predictable and boring. I never once thought of the movie as a love story until I saw Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum.  When I saw Phantom at The Orpheum last night, I saw a part of the story that I had never felt so strongly before.  Not only is it about love and obsession, but it’s about the unfairness of life and the heartbreak it can hold. There’s a scene in a cemetary that Christine sings to her dead father, and the words to that song, “Wishing you were Somehow here Again” made my heart ache in such a powerful way. And each time the Phantom would sing to Christine, I fell in love with the monster and understood his anguish and his psychoses.

Towards the end of the show, the Phantom is finally unmasked and the monster beneath is revealed and though horrifying, it was so human in it’s portrayal that it’s marked my heart forever. When he kisses Christine and she kisses him back, I sobbed in my seat.  The Phantom had never been given a kiss or allowed one to be given back, not even by his mother.  The absolute humanity in that scene from both actors could be felt all the way up to balcony center.  A triumph for the human race.

I know some of you will laugh at me when I tell you that this show changed my life last night, but there are some of you who know me well enough to know that I believe that life is an ever evolving, ever changing experience and that the only true purpose in life is love and how you give it and receive it. The human heart is the most profound and important thing that we possess and when you spend three hours watching a rendering of ourselves in our most human, basic form and you also put that together with a live orchestra, extraordinarily talented actors and lyrics that simply pull at your soul, you have a life changing experience.

Wow!

What a show!

 

 

Book of Mormon

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The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee is hosting the hit Broadway stage production of Book of Mormon and I had the pleasure of attending last Friday night. I went with my Broadway buddy and his daughter and her husband. The night started off on a hilarious note when my friend and his son-in-law decided to dress as Elders, complete with black ties and short-sleeved white shirts. All they needed was a couple of name tags and of course the renowned book in question. They also needed to be pushy, obnoxious and a little closed minded.

As soon as we get out of the car, I’m struck by the dazzling lights of the Orpheum marquee as I always am. We walk across the parking lot towards the entrance when we see young men in white short-sleeved shirts and black ties and these men do have the Book of Mormon in hand along with some literature that included business cards to direct you to the Ladder Day Saint website. When I willingly accepted the little card, I honestly thought that this was part of the show and that the young guys were actors hired to promote this event. Until I looked at the card and realized that these guys standing on the corner in front of our majestic Orpheum were in fact, Mormons. Now the funny thing about all of this is when one of the Missionaries made a comment to my friend’s daughter. “Nice blouse” he says to her as we walk by. She was wearing a nice blouse, one that was off the shoulder and that highlighted her stunning tattoos.  Any young man in America would have to be blind not to notice her, but for a Mormon on a mission, it seemed like an out of place comment that only added to the humor of the night.

And, humor was definitely the theme for the night. I’ve never been into comedy very much as I honestly don’t find most of it funny. I never understood The Three Stooges or slapstick comedy and I have never laughed at Don Rickles or Rodney Dangerfield. Just never really got it. Never found their schticks even remotely humorous.  For the most part, I’ve also stayed away from adult comedy humor and can remember one time going to a show in Tahoe and seeing Eddie Murphy do his adult stand up and I was disgusted. His obsession with bathroom humor just turned me off and though I’m not a prude, I felt like one while sitting through his routine.  I’ve also been to quite a few Broadway plays now and I’ve enjoyed each one immensely, but I have to tell you this was my first comedic play and I wasn’t sure what I would think about it.

Can you say, laugh out loud?

Well, we sure did and it was an uproariously funny show that did it’s absolute best to offend everyone, make the ladies blush and had the Christians in the audience wondering if they were going to hell after laughing through this performance. It was fresh, smart and carried out all the offensive gags with just enough class, truth and candor to tickle just about everyone’s funny bone.  There were some people offended but for the most part, the crowd loved the boisterous performances and the raunchy humor.

It kind of surprises me that Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone had the foresight to write this comedy that puts such a strong spot light on the Mormon religion.  Oh, and it’s not just the usual spotlight, but one that absolutely screams out how ridiculous religion can be and yet at the same time, highlights how wonderful humans have the capacity to be. The Book of Mormon was most surprising not for it’s crude and in your face humor but for it’s very evident story line that life is about love and understanding and a desire to unite the human race into a race of true brotherhood that transcends so called religions and their dogma.

These creator’s of South Park hit the mark and then some with this so very human show. They gave us laughter without bitterness and brought humor to our human condition with intelligence, compassion and a good dose of self deprecating humor. One of the most interesting things of the night for me was watching some of the older, obviously more conservative theater patrons and their reactions to some of the more outrageous skits. An older couple were sitting right next to me and I was curious to watch their reactions, and it was funny to see them at first uncomfortable and embarrassed and then laughing so hard, they had to hide their faces in their hands. It was reassuring to see people like that be able to laugh at the absurdities of life.

The Book of Mormon shot to the top of my favorite Broadway shows and it might always stay at the top of my comedy list. It was an awesome production that left me feeling good with the underlying story-line that love will always persevere and that if we can’t laugh at ourselves, there is no point in anything we ever do.

Is the show for everyone? Absolutely not. It is definitely an adult show and I would hesitate to bring anyone under the age of 18. I also would probably refrain from bringing my uber religious friends that don’t have a really good sense of humor and an ability to laugh at themselves. But, for anyone else wanting to spend a night at the theater being tickled funny, this is definitely the show you’ve been waiting for. Oh, and don’t forget to go to that Mormon website and download their free book! You’ll see pretty quick how easy it was to write a satirical play about this particular religion. I doubt many Mormons will be flocking to see this one, but if any do dare to venture out, I challenge them not to laugh out loud.

The Orpheum Theatre

orpheum

One of the nicest things about living in Memphis, Tennessee is being able to attend Broadway shows at one of the most beautiful theatres in the country. The Orpheum Theatre  was originally built in 1890 and was called The Grand Opera House.  Vaudeville was the rage of entertainment late in the the 19th century and early 20th century and The Grand was billed as the classiest theatre outside of New York city. In 1907, the Grand officially became part of the Orpheum circle of Broadway shows and so became known as The Orpheum.

The original building was destroyed by fire in 1923 and was rebuilt five years later at an exorbitant cost of 1.6 million. The new theatre was twice as large as her predecessor and so lavishly decorated as to be considered the most opulent theatre in the country at that time.  Everything about this new theatre was richly themed, expertly decorated and no expense was spared. From the ceilings hung massive crystal chandeliers, the walls adorned in rich brocades and tasseled draperies. There were gilded moldings and plush carpets. The seats were done in deep red velvet and the ushers were neatly attired in black and white uniforms.  The new theatre also featured the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ that was played during intermissions.

The popularity of vaudeville waned across the country and The Orpheum was purchased in 1940 by Malco Theaters which is a family run business that is still operating in Memphis today. Hollywood was beginning to pump out first rate films that had America going to the movies on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon matinees. The theatre packed them in to see Gone With the Wind and Wizard of Oz.  It operated as a movie house until 1976 when the theatre was sold by Malco to the Memphis Development Foundation. There was talk of demolishing the old landmark and building an office complex. Thankfully, that did not happen and on Christmas day 1982 the doors were closed and a 5 million dollar renovation began to restore this building back to it’s 1928 splendor and beauty. A grand reopening celebration was held in January of 1984, and it signaled the rebirth of entertainment in downtown Memphis.

The Orpheum is as grand as any theatre I have visited and it is truly a sparkling gem for this delta town. When the doors open a half hour before showtime, you enter through a foyer area and hand the still uniformed usher your ticket. Once your ticket is scanned you are allowed to enter into the lobby and what a grand entrance that feels like. The room opens up at least three stories high and hanging from the middle of the ceiling is just one of the famed crystal chandeliers. A curved staircase leads you up to all balcony seating and at the landing on the staircase is one of the largest gilded mirrors I have ever seen. There’s also a gleaming black, grand piano situated perfectly in the middle of the lobby. You climb the stairs and find your level and once you are there, you are once again escorted by an usher to your exact seat. The ushers could have time travelled from the 1920s with their impeccable and old-world style of dress. Most of the ushers are older and the ones I’ve had a chance to speak with, all have a history with this charming landmark theater. I could easily spend an afternoon hearing first hand accounts of all the history this place has seen. Once you are escorted inside,  and you come around the first corner of seats, the theatre opens up before you all the way to the curtained stage. The first time I walked through the doors and beheld the splendor of what was before me, it took my breath away. Everywhere you look there is gold leaf and gilded moldings. The colors are done in dark reds and soft gold and the seats are still covered in plush velvet upholstery. The dome of The Orpheum sits high above our heads, with more exquisitely detailed inlays and soft lighting. When the house lights finally go down and the orchestra strikes that first chord, you are totally lost in another world. A world that took place close to a century ago. A world that was different than the one we live in today. A world that still had romance and mystery. You are transported back into time for a couple of hours and the hustle and bustle of our 21st century world is forgotten. The theatre alone lends an air of nostalgia and whimsy to the evening, but the fact that The Orpheum still brings Broadway plays and musicals to Memphis is a blessing on this not so big, city.

If you ever catch yourself down in the delta and you want to reward yourself with a wonderful evening, go catch one of the shows at The Orpheum.  Before the show, enjoy a stroll down Beale St. and stop in at one of the clubs and hear some legendary Blues. Then, grab your date and head on over to watch a top rated production at our little star of a theatre. You won’t be disappointed.