Next Saturday, November 18, we are going to a fantastic performance: Gypsy. At Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, the musical will take place in: MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM
Opened in 1932, Memorial Auditorium is the crown jewel of North Carolina performing arts. Over the years, this richly historic theater has played host to a dazzling spectrum of artists and performances. Just a sample of the list quickly becomes dizzying: Sinatra, Gillespie, Baryshnikov, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughn, Itzhak Perlman, Natalie Cole and Prince. Broadway blockbusters like Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Disney’s The Lion King, Jersey Boys, Miss Saigon, and Rent have also been staged here.
Moreover, just stepping into the theater, with its dramatic atrium lobby, twin floating staircases and gorgeous Doric columns, brings the magic and inspiration of all these artists to life for visitors.
After some dramatic renovations in 1990, Memorial Auditorium now blends state-of-the-art technical amenities like sound-reflective mahogany walls and intricate lighting systems with grand theater traditions. It currently is the home of Broadway Series South and the North Carolina Theatre.
Eighty-thousand square feet of stage, house, rehearsal hall, lobbies and public areas make Memorial Auditorium one of the most decisively versatile facilities in the Southeast. Stage-level dressing rooms (with mirrors, dressing tables, showers and restroom facilities), an elegant rehearsal hall for more intimate theater productions, dinners and meetings, and a state-of-the-art box office are just a few of the reasons that each event or special performance will be a seamlessly professional and inspiring one for attendee and performer alike.
The orchestra pit is impressive. At a width of 51′-6″ and a depth of 12′ at center, tapering to 9″ at offstage edge, it is a hydraulic lift that can be set at any height from basement to stage level. The only access to the orchestra pit during performance is through the house or from the stage. The lift cannot be operated during a performance or at any time while the general public is in the auditorium, without special consent of the Production Supervisor.
Why do I elaborate on the theatre and the Orchestra Pit? Because I am so proud that our son will be playing his trumpet in this impressive Broadway production! Even though we won’t see him, we may hear where he is sitting if we recognize the special sound of his trumpet, which we often do.
For this occasion we are riding the Waltonwood bus, so that we do not have to be concerned with finding the theatre and finding parking. We’re looking forward to this wonderful 1959 Musical with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
It’s a Wonderful Life!
Until next time,