Message from Our CEO
Reflecting on this year, a friend recently summed it up aptly: “The days have been long and the months short. I remember April like it was yesterday, yet yesterday seemed unending.”
Many of us undoubtedly can relate to this sentiment. This year has challenged our mettle to say the least. Among our many sacrifices, our enjoyment of live in-person entertainment, a timeless outlet for dealing with adversity.
This year has required all of us to evolve. Here at the Orpheum, we have embraced the virtual realm to help shoulder the burden of life as we know it. For those craving the symphony, we teamed up with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) to produce an eight-event virtual concert series called, “Orpheum Sessions,” which continues to bring our stage to homes near and afar. When Hurricane Laura devastated communities of Louisiana, we offered our venue to Lauren Daigle, who produced a virtual fundraising concert for relief. Other examples exist in different forms. Most recently, we welcomed the opportunity to host performances by Terence Blanchard and the LPO to produce a music video for the upcoming Netflix and Spike Lee film, Da Five Bloods. Our ability to support and produce virtual events has been important, allowing us to operate under today’s difficult conditions. But this new approach is not ideal. We miss having you, our ardent supporters, fill our halls and grace us with your delightful presence. We miss your applause, your vigor, your essence. You are the reason we exist.
Orpheum Centennial Anniversary LogoThis year has been historic for many reasons, most of them unfortunate. But as we look toward 2021, allow me to focus your attention elsewhere, on an important milestone that you helped achieve. The Orpheum Theater celebrates its 100-year anniversary. In 1921, the venue opened as a home for vaudeville, its mission to serve as a beacon of the performing arts and give refuge from reality, if even for a few hours. Today, after undergoing numerous transformations, the theater continues this all-important mission because of you. Your engagement attracts world-class performances of every genre; movie premieres including Oscar Award-winning films; and private events including weddings, celebrations, Mardi Gras balls, and conferences. What’s more, your patronage has enabled us to launch the Double Dealer, a speakeasy under the Orpheum that resembles the backstage setting of a 1920’s vaudeville theater, paying homage to the Orpheum’s roots.
As you are the reason for the Orpheum’s success, this centennial anniversary is also yours to celebrate. So, let us raise a glass and toast to the year and years ahead. Let us look forward to the promise of continuing the Orpheum’s legacy for the next 100 years. Let us envision a time when you can once again step through our doors, take a seat, and relish a live performance.
We look forward to that day and say thank you, as always, for your generous support. From all of us at the Orpheum, have a happy and safe New Year.
Eric R. George, MD
CEO, Orpheum Theater and ERG Enterprises