Little Black Dress Worthy: The Orpheum Theatre

by Fara Illich
Arts & Culture Family Featured Music & Events Fara Illich September 21, 2009


Photo courtesy of: Orpheum Theatre

Some places are just as magnificent as the ticketed events themselves. The Orpheum Theatre is definitely one of those places. Maybe that’s why it’s so little black dress worthy. Don’t leave home without it.
That’s because the Orpheum Theatre oozes splendor and history. Originally built in 1929 for vaudeville acts, it’s the last remaining example of theatre palace architecture in Phoenix, and it’s the only Phoenix theatre on the National Register of Historic Places. The place rocks.
Not only is it acoustically amazing, but you’ll be blown away by the intricate columns and molding, the delicate murals, the ornate light fixtures, and the ruby-red seats. The only thing missing is the paparazzi and a long red carpet outside the front doors underneath the marquee.
My first experience at the Orpheum after the major renovation in 1997 was to see Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was fabulous. I’ve been back lots of times and never grow tired of walking around the place, usually with my mouth hanging open and in absolute awe of the architecture.  The setting inside the theatre is intimate with just 1,062 seats at the orchestra level and 302 seats in the balcony. It’s a great place to catch a play, comedy show or musical act.   Anything, really.
Before or after a show, pop on over to Cheuvront’s (just minutes from the theatre) for wine and appetizers and you’ve got yourself quite an evening. My advice: Ditch the T-shirt and gym shoes, though, and break out the little black dress. You’ll be glad you did and majorly depressed if you don’t.