Glendale Arts, in Glendale, CA, celebrated the completion of the landmark Alex Theatre’s multi-million dollar expansion and renovation when Emmy and Tony Award-winning performer Martin Short joined artistic director and conductor Matt Catingub and the Glendale Pops Orchestra for a special evening of comedy, music, song and dance at the Theatre’s Grand reopening celebration Saturday, June 21st. The Alex Theatre is located at 216 North Brand Boulevard in Glendale.
Recalling the glamour of ‘Old Hollywood’, guests walked the red carpet in true Alex Theatre style, as they entered the event, which included a pre-and post-theatre reception and guided tour of the Alex’s new 6,600 square foot expansion. The pre-theatre reception was held upstairs at 6:30 p.m., prior to the show at 8:00 p.m. An elegant dinner, catered by premier Mediterranean caterer Anoush and a silent auction immediately followed the performance in a specially designed tent decorated with vases of red roses behind the theatre.
Proceeds from the event support the programs and services of Glendale Arts, a private non-profit organization which manages the Alex Theatre and coordinates resources designed to benefit Glendale based artists, arts organizations, businesses, government agencies and local schools. Over the past decade, Glendale Arts has generated over 9.5 million in earned income in the City and hosted more than 2,500 community and professional performances.
A celebrated comedian and accomplished film, stage and TV actor, Short is perhaps best known for his many characters on NBC’s Saturday Night Live as well as his roles in the remake of Father of the Bride, as Franck the wedding planner, which he reprised a few years later in Father of the Bride Part II. A one-night-only experience, Short’s performance included a selection of Broadway show tunes and musical classics with the Glendale Pops, along with some of his familiar comedy routines, including special appearances by his popular talk show host character, the hilarious Jiminy Glick and the well-loved 100 year-old Irving Cohen. Most recently seen on the CBS hit comedy series How I Met Your Mother, Short is currently shooting the first season of the new FOX series Mulaney, set to air later in 2014.
“Sharing the stage with Martin Short, truly one of the great entertainers of our time, was indeed a real pleasure, not only for me, but for our fabulous Glendale Pops Orchestra. His comedic genius and also his musical skills, which for some were yet undiscovered, were a great treat for us to work with. What a fantastic way to welcome back our glorious Alex Theatre, and bring our Glendale Pops Orchestra season to an end,” said Matt Catingub, Glendale Pops artistic director and conductor.
Funded by the City of Glendale Successor Agency, Glendale Arts initiated the expansion to meet the increasing demands of new productions, current rental users and Glendale Arts productions. The renovations will allow the Alex to broaden the kind of productions they do and enhance the Theatre’s ability to accommodate different kinds of events in the future. The Successor Agency and Glendale Arts invested $5.26 million to better accommodate the delivery, loading, and set-up needs of various kinds of shows held at the historic theatre. In addition to improved backstage access and loading capacity, upgraded amenities include additional new dressing rooms, storage and shop space, new freight and passenger elevators, and additional stair and hallway access to better assist with loading. The project began in July of 2013 and took just under a year to complete.
“This is an extraordinary accomplishment for the City of Glendale, the Alex Theatre and the community,” stated Elissa Glickman, Glendale Arts’ CEO. “While all the improvements may not be obvious to Theatre patrons, they are a game changer in our ability to attract new and exciting productions, like musical theatre. We could think of no better way to celebrate this achievement than with Glendale’s own Pops Orchestra and a celebrity with the talent and caliber of Martin Short. We take great pride in the fact that our city leaders are so supportive and committed to the long-term prosperity of the Alex. As its stewards, Glendale Arts sees a bright future for the “people’s house,” said Glickman.