Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Photo Recap: "A Night in Havana" 2010 Gala

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All photos by Robert Carl. See the photo set on our Flickr page for captions. Gala sponsored by the Pasquinelli Family Foundation.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Save the date: Too Hot Black Friday Sale!

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Sometime between the inevitable turkey coma and fight to get out of the mall parking lot, take a minute to visit our Ticketmaster page this Friday, November 26th for our Black Friday Sale featuring...

Too Hot to Handel:
the jazz gospel messiah
$10 off tickets in price levels 2 & 3 
Use code SALE when purchasing

This special offer is also available at our box office, by phone (handy if you want to get away from the in-laws) by calling toll-free: 800.982.ARTS (2787) and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

Don't miss out on the The Auditorium's annual musical celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the show the Chicago Tribune calls: "Hotter than hot!"

Not convinced, visit the Too Hot page on our website for more info and an improv video from last year's performance!

*Offer valid on price level 2 & 3 only. May not be combined with other offers or promotions. Not available on previously purchased tickets. Subject to availability; restrictions apply. Use code SALE to redeem. Offer expires at 3pm on 12/03/2010.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Building our brick at a time

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Interior Panorama

The Auditorium Theatre is currently immersed in one of the most ambitious and comprehensive restoration efforts ever seen in the building’s long and storied history. This massive undertaking comprises a variety of renovation initiatives including:
  • Adding new and improved lighting throughout the building
  • Replacing nearly 4,000 seats that comprise the Auditorium’s magnificent theatre
  • Building a rehearsal space
  • Re-plastering, painting and restoring the interior of the lobby to its original splendor
The extensive costs associated with these improvements create some unique challenges. Fortunately, a very dear friend to the Auditorium recently presented our theatre and our patrons with a special opportunity. His generosity is so profound that he’s willing to give $100,000 to set up a unique matching gift to assist with the operating costs and help preserve our theatre for future generations.

In other words, for every dollar given to the Auditorium Theatre as part of this challenge, one dollar will be matched from the $100,000 gift, thereby doubling the value of every donation we receive. This is truly an incredible gesture, one for which everyone at the Auditorium Theatre is immensely grateful.

If you would like to give to help support the Auditorium Theatre’s ongoing restoration and operating expenses, please contact Amanda Martinez at (312) 922-2110, ext. 368 or set up an account and give online. And please remember, any gift you can spare will double in value—and will make twice the impact on our future, and our legacy.

Guest post by Kevin Fitzpatrick, Director of Development.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Inside ATRU: Eve's top 5 things you can do as an intern here that you can't do anywhere else

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Ewa Czerniawska is studying Events Management and PR at the London Metropolitan University, spending this semester on an exchange program at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She is also a production intern at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

5 things you are allowed to do as an intern at the Auditorium Theatre, that you wouldn't be able to do anywhere else.

1. Jump in the middle of Michigan Avenue at noon and stop the traffic!

Well, it wasn't always at noon, but I did do it a couple of times. Our alley goes straight into Michigan Avenue so every time we have a load in or out, we have trucks coming in and out of the alley. There's no way to make it happen but to stop traffic for a couple of minutes.

2. Put the house curtains on fire!

Once in a while we have to do fireproofing tests on our curtains. So we cut little pieces of them (from the inside, so you can't see it) and we "try to put them on fire," by that I mean that someone holds a match underneath the curtain for 12 seconds and then fire has to extinguish in the next 2 seconds. If it does, it means the curtains are flame-resistant.

3. Telling executives what to do!

Not really… but sometimes they want to give a speech before the show, so by telling them what to do, I mean giving them stage cues.

4. Witness a miracle.

A wardrobe lady didn't make it to the show one day; so we set up a quick changing room at the back of the stage with 500 costumes! It was truly unbelievable.

5. Hang out in the “locked” parts of the building.

You get to climb up above the arches to see how and where they change all the light bulbs. You also get to go to the basement where the air-conditioning system is located. There is a small room where it is really windy and you get the feeling like you are in the movies and something is about to suck you in. But once you learn how it all works you realize that it's perfectly safe.

As interesting as it may sound these things are not nearly as important as the things you learn. As an intern you get to see and be a part of all the day-by-day operations of the theatre. The internship allows you to understand how all the departments work together to deliver a show.  And with all the help for the staff, by the end of the internship, I guarantee you will be ready for your first job in the theatre.

Our internship program offers students the opportunity for hands-on learning alongside professionals working in the performing arts industry.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Live on our stage: the Grateful Dead in 1971

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On August 24, 1971, the Grateful Dead played a live show on our stage to lackluster reviews. From the liner notes:
"When they're hot, they're incendiary. When they're not, they're like cold spaghetti. That's the price we pay for the kind of openly emotional music they make." - Jack Hafferkamp, Chicago Daily News
Even with the unfortunate review, we are proud to have hosted the iconic band. This is the start of a future series of posts noting live recordings taped in our theatre. This recording, part of a CD including the Grateful Dead playing in San Diego, California is available on where you can hear samples. Eventually, we'll be highlighting these live recordings in a collection in our theatre.

Joe Hallissey is the Digital Marketing Associate at the Auditorium Theatre.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Children explore Too Hot to Handel through school outreach programs

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Picture this: a desk piled high with children’s books on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a teaching guide on Too Hot to Handel scribbled with updates and edits for this year, poetry contest fliers and the first entries, residency workshop information and school schedules, master class outlines and one very big smile – yes, it’s that time of the year—Too Hot to Handel is only a few short months away, and I couldn’t be more excited. As the Auditorium’s Senior Director of Education and self proclaimed “Too Hot groupie,” it’s finally time to kick some of our most thrilling educational program initiatives into high gear.

Too Hot is a wonderfully rich piece that truly embodies Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community. It’s the kind of show that has the power to reach a broad range of listeners and invite them to actively experience its message, to stand up, to clap, to get involved and respond. Its message of peace and love helps us create a dialogue together and share in the building of community. And who better to engage in this dialogue than Chicago Public School students? Our second annual Poetry Contest invites CPS students in grades 3-12 to write a poem celebrating Dr. King’s dream of the Beloved Community. We are curious to find out what MLK’s message and vision of community means to modern youth. The deadline for submissions is December 3, 2010!

The Auditorium is also thrilled to continue and deepen the Too Hot Residency Program for CPS students in grades 3-8. Working under the guidance of Too Hot Teaching Artist Christina BournĂ©, students will explore one of Dr. King’s speeches and create an original musical composition as a response. This top-notch program built a reputation for excellence last year and quickly booked again this year. CPS high school music students will also benefit from our educational initiatives with our Master Class Series with the artists of Too Hot to Handel.

Too Hot to Handel will surely not disappoint, leaving all audiences with the sense that they are part of something very, very important. You’ll also see me, the “Too Hot groupie”, singing and swaying in the alto section as part of the 150-person Too Hot Community Choir. The Auditorium is going to be jazzing up the Messiah, and we want you to be there!

For more information on our education programs, please contact

Nicole Losurdo is the Senior Director of Education.

Too Hot to Handel education programs are made possible through the generous support of JP Morgan Chase.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Inside ATRU: Casey Crail on his fall internship experience

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As the fall 2010 operations intern, it has been quite an experience working at the Auditorium Theatre. Getting the chance to work at such an important and historic theatre has been a dream come true. I have always loved theatre and been interested in architecture—especially Chicago architecture. The Auditorium has offered me the chance to combine my two passions into a semester long program that will help me greatly as I move forward pursuing a career in performing arts management.

The first time I stepped out onto the Auditorium’s stage I looked out at the nearly 4,000 seats, from the orchestra level all the way up to the gallery six stories above the stage. I knew that I was finally where I wanted to be. Many people spend years studying something and then, when getting out into the real world, realize they have no desire to practice what they’ve studied. I’ve been studying performing arts management at Columbia College for the past three and a half years. It was an incredibly validating feeling to finally be able to put the skills I’ve learned in the classroom to use in a practical setting here at the Auditorium (and realize that I really do love working at a theatre).

Being the operations intern, I’m usually over in my little cubby (at least I don’t have to sit in the hole*) over at the theatre off  aisle 1—which is across the street and a few blocks away from the administrative offices where most of the staff is located. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t get to interact much with the rest of the theatre staff. Luckily, I have worked on many projects here that have allowed me to collaborate with different departments and gain a better understanding of how all the areas work together. I have learned so much from working with all of the incredibly talented individuals who make up the Auditorium Theatre.

From being teased mercilessly as the “newbie” by the patron services coordinator to attending a Rotary Club luncheon with the executive director, my time at the Auditorium has been incredibly fun, fulfilling, and above all eye opening. It has been a great experience and environment that I will be sad to leave at the end of the semester.

* The hole is the back section of the Patron Services Office. It was affectionately named “the hole” by the Auditorium staff for its low-ceiling, dark, claustrophobic feel. Pretty awesome of the Auditorium staff to not make the interns sit back there.

Casey Crail is a senior at Columbia College where he is studying Performing Arts Management and is the fall Operations Intern.


Our internship program offers students the opportunity for hands-on learning alongside professionals working in the performing arts industry.

Discover our hidden world: take the behind-the-scenes tour on November 20

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On Saturday, November 20, 2010, the theatre will be offering a special Behind the Scenes Historic Tour.

Join us for an in-depth guided tour of the Auditorium, including our lobby spaces, theatre and the backstage areas  -- spaces that have never been seen by the general public. Learn about the building's storied past and see the dressing rooms, green room and a preserved piece of 1889 engineering.
Don't miss this special opportunity -- Behind the Scenes Historic Tours are available on Saturday, November 20 at 10am and 12 noon only. Tour tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased beginning 30 minutes prior to the tour at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office and in advance at

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"The Architecture of Harry Weese" - A new book about the man who led the Auditorium Theatre's restoration

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After World War II, there was a lull in our history and the Auditorium Theatre fell into disrepair. In the 1960's Harry Weese led the restoration of the theatre and restored it to its grand state.

Celebrating Harry Weese, and his legacy, author Roger Bruegmann and contributor Kathleen Murphy Skolnik have written a new book, "The Architecture of Harry Weese" which includes a section on the restoration of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

The author is hosting a free event to celebrate the release, together with the release of author and Too Hot to Handel choir member, Samantha Hoffman's book "Mr. Right-Enough," on Saturday, November 6 at Mart Anthony's Restaurant, 1200 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL from 3-6pm. Wine and appetizers will be served.
 Ed: Changed Sarah Hoffman to Samantha Hoffman.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This January, why freeze…when you can burn?

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On January 15 &16, 2011, the Auditorium Theatre’s kinetic, self-produced musical event, Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah, will entertain thousands of audience members with a captivating tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This celebration of the Dr. King holiday is a cornerstone of the Auditorium’s season—and a truly diverse and inclusive musical experience.
You can help make this production a success by joining Friends of Too Hot to Handel, a group of esteemed individuals committed to the future of this transcendent cultural event. These gracious friends are dedicated to supporting and preserving Too Hot to Handel so that more patrons can continue to enjoy the sublime talent, dazzling music and infectious spirit of this one-of-a-kind production each year. Membership in Friends of Too Hot to Handel entitles you to a variety of benefits including: prime seats, a dinner with the Too Hot stars, recognition in the Auditorium Theatre playbill and a backstage champagne toast.

But more importantly, by joining Friends of Too Hot to Handel, you are helping sustain a production that is born from the Auditorium’s own blood, toil and sweat. All of us invest so much time and work into this production because the experience is one that must be shared with the people of this great city—not just right now, but for years to come. We hope you will consider joining today!

For additional information, please contact Amanda Martinez at (312) 922-2110, ext. 368.

Guest post by Kevin Fitzpatrick, Director of Development. 

Photo of Rodrick Dixon by Dan Rest.

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