Pantages Theater Returns to Historic Glory

Tacoma not only creates it also celebrates its artistic history.

Slated for the wrecking ball in the 1980s, the historic Pantages Theater located in downtown Tacoma had seen better days. Built in 1918 for vaudeville king Alexander Pantages as part of his theater empire, the beloved theater was in deep decline and neglect. Demonstrating true Tacoma grit, citizens rallied together and saved the performance space that became part of the City of Tacoma and later the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

Although the loss of this historic treasure had been adverted, recent patrons, staff and performers have all known that there was much more that needed to be done. Peeling paint, sound from the street and uncomfortable seats were indicators that changes needed to be made.

Completed this November, the most recent renovation returns the inside of the Pantages much closer to its original state and also consists of updates for the safety and comfort of today’s audiences and performers.

From the new color scheme, based on the forensic research of the 22 layers of paint, to the addition of rich decoration to the private boxes that feature rosettes and shells, the Pantages has returned to it’s former glory. Details that had previously been difficult to see have been revealed and the architectural elements have been enhanced.

Modern attendees will appreciate features such as wider seats, cup holders, a new center aisle, fewer stairways, new handrails and lighting. What patrons won’t see are the new seismic and safety updates that will preserve the theater’s structure and integrity should an earthquake hit. Additionally, the acoustics of the space have been greatly improved with the elimination of the carpeting that previously absorbed sound and newly built floors.

With the busy holiday season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to see for yourself the glorious Pantages while attending a live performance.  Come down to the Theater District and celebrate! Hilary Ryan

Image By: Justin John Ryan

 

Star Chefs On Broadway

The Pantages Theater was transformed into a 1920s speakeasy with rum runners and floozies hosting gambling games and enticing guests to try a variety of giggle waters so delicious they should have been prohibited. Dapper gents and dolled-up dames enjoyed a variety of delicious appetizers in the lobby before going into the 100-year-old theater. They were served a four-course dinner by Asado along with fine wines and dessert, and a delicious “last bite” by Corina Bakery. The entertainment continued throughout the evening with a dazzling program by EnJoy Productions.
Funds raised totaled in excess of $310,000, including the first round of seat-naming opportunities sold for the Pantages Theater renovation.

Chinese Opera Comes to Tacoma

Audience members will be mesmerized by a cast of acclaimed performers as Thousand Faces Chinese Opera comes to Pantages Theater in Tacoma on May 13. One of the oldest dramatic art forms, Chinese opera has developed into unique regional styles. It has evolved beyond the tradition of singing and dancing to incorporate skillful visual elements. These include face changing, martial arts, acrobatics and even fire breathing.

Yu Long, who has perfected her craft of face changing over 30 years, explains her art as quick, accurate and beautiful. Spectators might call it magical and mysterious. In face changing, the artist wears a silk face mask to represent a character or emotion. During the performance the mask is changed repeatedly with the slightest movement and imperceptibly to the eyes of the audience.

Long was born and raised in Chengdu, the birthplace of Sichuan opera. She pleaded with officials to allow a woman to study the art of face changing. Previously only men were allowed. Her dedication led to her being recognized by the Chinese government as the only national “female inheritor” of Sichuan opera.

Long will be in impressive company for Thousand Faces Chinese Opera. Joining her are Bole Zhao (赵宝乐), national opera producer and popular host of China’s Opera Channel; China national actors Wenge Hu (胡文阁), the best Mei-style Peking opera performer, and Yi Long (龙毅), a Sichuan opera performer who breathes fire; Shijia Jiang (姜适迦), a well-known Peking opera performer and professor of drama; and Lucy Wu (吴小妹), Peking opera jinghu performer and winner of the China Culture Ministry’s Outstanding Youth Artist Achievement Award. The show will also include demonstrations of calligraphy, painting, tea arts, puppetry and acrobatics.

Thousand Faces Chinese Opera will be performed in Seattle on May 12 and Tacoma on May 13. The performances are sponsored by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center, America Long Yu Chinese Traditional Culture and Face Changing Art Academy, Confucius Institute of the State of Washington, and .

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Asia Pacific Cultural Center at 253.383.3900 or visit asiapacificculturalcenter.org/chineseopera. by Julie leydelmeyer

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvNyGnlBzg0

Asia Pacific Cultural Center

4851 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA

 

 

 

LIV ON Starring Olivia Newton-John, Beth Nielsen Chapman, and Amy Sky

Three superstars team up for LIV ON, a concert experience with the power to heal heartache with hope and gratitude. Grammy winner Olivia Newton-John, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, and Canadian singer/songwriter Amy Sky team up for the inspirational concert at the historic Pantages Theater on February 17, at 7:30 p.m. 

LIV ON is built around the experiences that Newton-John, Chapman, and Sky who believe what matters most in life: love, loss, hope, and healing. With songs such as “Stone In My Pocket” and “My Heart Goes Out To You,” the three friends have put the purpose of the LIV ON Project into song. Having all experienced life changing losses, the project blossomed out of both their unified grief and their resolute desire to heal and help others. The LIV ON Project takes the listener on a journey of remembrance, toward one of inspiration and hope.

“We found that any time we shared a vulnerable part of us, we felt such an overwhelming feeling of kinship and relief, that we were not alone with our pain,” Newton-John said. “We hope these songs that came from the depths of us, will offer a place of comfort to others.”

This very special performance is meant to help lift the hearts of others going through their own hardship, whatever the cause. LIV ON also brings listeners epic songs such as Nielsen Chapman’s “Sand and Water,” and several brand new songs, including the title track, “Liv On,” which was born of their own exploration into the pain of loss, the growth that follows, and eventually the journey toward renewed joy. 

To purchase tickets call the Broadway Center Box Office at 253.591.5894, toll-free 1.800.291.7593, online at BroadwayCenter.org