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Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The Auditorium Theatre's 125th Anniversary Gala Celebrates 125 Years of World Class Performance and Historic Memories, December 14, 2014 (Chicago)
YEARS OF WORLD CLASS PERFORMANCES AND HISTORIC MEMORIES CELEBRATED AT
THE AUDITORIUM THEATRE’S ANNIVERSARY GALA, “LIVING THE HISTORY – 125
YEARS OF THE AUDITORIUM THEATRE,” DECEMBER 9, 2014
The Past and Present Come Alive with Stars Patti LuPone, John Mahoney, Jim Peterik and friends,
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Joffrey Ballet,
Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and The Apollo Chorus
First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama, to Serve as Honorary Chair, Mayor
Rahm Emanuel and Amy Rule to Serve as Honorary Co-Chairs for the
” on December 9, 2014.
The celebratory evening, which begins with a star-studded program at
the Auditorium Theatre (50 E Congress Pkwy), will include a tribute to
the diverse entertainment that has been, and continues to be presented
at the theatre including symphonic music, opera, Broadway musicals, rock
music and dance. The performance will be immediately followed by a Gala
Celebration Dinner at the Palmer House Hilton (17 E Monroe) to cap off
the extraordinary night.
“The Auditorium’s 125th Gala Celebration showcases the
diversity and scope of talent that has graced the historic landmark
stage since it opened in 1889. We estimate that over 20 million audience
members have attended the theatre in its 125 year history and the
memories created for those patrons have helped to make the Auditorium
the iconic destination that it is for all Chicagoans,” said Auditorium
Theatre Executive Director Brett Batterson. “The world was astounded
when the Auditorium opened its doors on December 9, 1889; the grandeur
of Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler’s pioneering design put Chicago on
the world map and paved the way for the city to host the 1893 World’s
Fair. We are honored to be able to celebrate this important landmark‘s
125th birthday and promise a celebration worthy of this grand theatre’s legacy.”
Paying homage to the past, present and future of the Auditorium and its Chicago roots, the evening’s host, Chicago actor John Mahoney,
will welcome friends old and new to the stage, helping to commemorate
the original opening night of the theatre on December 9, 1889. Broadway
legend Patti LuPone, whose great-grand aunt Adelina
Patti sang on the very same stage at the original grand opening, will
delight guests with show-stopping numbers. A performance by the Apollo Chorus,
who also performed at the 1889 opening, will perform “Do You Hear the
People Sing?” from the iconic musical “Les Misérables”, a Broadway
masterpiece that has been performed numerous times at the Auditorium.
Chicago’s premiere cultural institutions, including members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and singers Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi and Eric Owens from the Lyric Opera of Chicago,
perform, paying tribute to the stage that was built as Chicago’s home
for classical music. Also paying tribute to the world-renowned dance
that has graced the stage in recent years, dancers from Joffrey Ballet—which has made its home at the Auditorium for the past 16 years—will perform, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will present a special performance by two Chicago area natives, Sarah Daley and Vernard Gilmore.
Recognizing the astounding rock shows that filled and continues to fill
the 3,875 seats of the Auditorium—and have launched the careers of some
of the most acclaimed performers in history—the “All-Star Band” will have guests up on their feet and dancing in the aisles. Made up of legendary Chicago musicians including Jim Peterik (Ides of March and Survivor) on guitar and vocals, Barbara Unger-Wertico on keyboard, Richard Patterson (Miles Davis and Michael McDonald) on bass and Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny Group) on drums, the “All-Star” band will turn the Auditorium into a full-fledged rock concert.
As a special salute to the veterans who were accommodated at the
Auditorium during World War II, the theatre is planning a salute to
their service as part of the festivities. Currently, the Auditorium is
seeking those living veterans and volunteer workers who were at the
Auditorium during WWII in order to collect their memories for the
salute. Please call (312) 341-2365 to be in touch with theatre personnel
if you or someone you know was at the Auditorium Theatre during that
The glamorous affair, directed by the acclaimed Rachel Rockwell,
a “Chicago director whose career has flourished at such musical
theaters as the Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace and the Paramount Theatre
in Aurora” (“The Chicago Tribune”), and who most recently directed the
new production of “Brigadoon” at the Goodman Theatre, begins at 6 p.m.
Immediately following the performance, Gala Celebration guests will be
shuttled to the Palmer House Hilton where they will be welcomed by Rich Daniels and The City Lights Orchestra, before being treated to an elegant dinner and more Anniversary surprises.
In honor of the momentous anniversary, First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama, will serve as the Honorary Chair for this historic season-long celebration highlighted by the gala celebration; Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Amy Rule will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs. Co-Chairs for the 125th Anniversary Season include Norm and Virginia Bobins, Steve and Nancy Crown, Jorge and Catrina Ramirez, Mike and Beth Reese, Jim and Sandy Reynolds, Jack and Carole Sandner, Ed and Dia Weil and Jeff Tweedy and Sue Miller. Gala Dinner Co-Chairs are Joan Colmar, Phil Lumpkin and Helen Hall Melchior. The Gala Dinner Celebration is sponsored by the Pasquinelli Family Foundation.
"On behalf of all Chicagoans, we are thrilled to celebrate the Auditorium Theatre’s 125th birthday,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“This national historic landmark is representative of our rich history
in the arts as well as the unique Chicago architecture styles that have
influenced American building structures for generations. The Auditorium
Theatre continues to make Chicago a leader in the arts and culture
today, and I wish the theatre nothing but good fortunes in the coming
About the Opening of the Auditorium Theatre
Built in 1889 by the pioneering genius of Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, along with their young draftsman Frank Lloyd Wright,
the Auditorium Theatre, often referred to as “the eighth wonder of the
world,” would catapult Chicago into the world’s eyes driving both
culture and tourism to the Windy City. At the time of its opening in
1889, the Auditorium Building was the epitome of modern design, the
largest structure in the United States and the tallest in Chicago.
The Auditorium Theatre played a key role in Chicago’s honor to host the
1893 Columbian Exposition, which, in turn, helped to make Chicago the
city it is today. Local civic leaders in Chicago were vying with those
in St. Louis, New York City and Washington DC to host a fair that could
reestablish Chicago as a solid destination for travel and commerce. The
international sensation brought about by the opening of the Auditorium
was seen by Congress as an indication that the people of Chicago
possessed the vision, forethought, work ethic, and financing to
successfully produce a world-renowned fair. These factors also led to
the Auditorium Theatre becoming one of the finest venues in the world to
present first-class entertainment and was the first home to some of the
greatest performance institutions including the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra—taking part in the special celebration—and the Chicago Grand
Program Schedule and Ticket Information
“Living the History – 125 Years of the Auditorium Theatre”
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 | 6:00 p.m.
by calling (800) 982-ARTS (2787) or in-person at the Auditorium’s Box
Office (50 E Congress Pkwy). Discounted tickets available to groups of
10 or more are available by calling (312) 341-2357. Student rush
tickets will be available for $12.50 with valid student ID.
Gala Celebration Tickets (includes performance)
Tables of ten are available at the $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 levels;
individual tickets start at $500. For tickets and information, please
contact Amanda Martinez Byrne at (312) 341-3825 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
125th Anniversary Season Sponsors
The Auditorium Theatre would like to thank their 125th Anniversary Season Sponsors: Lead Corporate Sponsor Nicor Gas, Lead Foundation Sponsor Robert R. McCormick Foundation and David D. Hiller, International Dance Series Sponsor NIB Foundation, and “Made in Chicago” Dance Series sponsor The Boeing Company. Media sponsors include Chicago Magazine and WXRT, and the Pasquinelli Family Foundation is the Gala Dinner Celebration Sponsor. Student Matinee Series Sponsors for the 2014-15 Season include The Private Bank and The Robert Thomas Bobins Foundation.
About the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, located at 50 E
Congress Pkwy, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to
presenting the finest in international, cultural, community and
educational programming to Chicago, and to the continued restoration and
preservation of the National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre. In
August of 2014, the Auditorium Theatre was named as an inaugural Fifth
Star Award Honoree by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of
Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The Auditorium Theatre is
generously supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the Illinois Arts
Council, the Sage Foundation, and the Palmer House Hilton. For more
information about programming, volunteer and donor opportunities or
theatre tours, call (312) 341-2310 or visit AuditoriumTheatre.org