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    Posted November 18, 2011

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The Peabody Opera House

By Kari Ely, St. Louis Liaison Chair

The Peabody Opera House (former known as the Kiel Opera House) reopened it's doors on October 1, with a red carpet sold out Gala performance staring Aretha Franklin and Jay Leno. The old Kiel, which was built in 1934 and operated until 1991 and sat closed for 20 years, was brought back to it's full art-deco splendor over a 14 month, $78.8 million renovation by skilled craftsman. The old Kiel featured such performers as Arthur Reubenstin, The Mamma's and the Papa's, and the famous televised 1966 Ratpack performance by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. with a budding Johnny Carson as emcee. Now the resplendent Peabody Opera House with its 3,100 seat domed main theatre will be a second St. Louis venue for Equity tours in addition to a smaller side theatre that seats 250 - 350.

On 11/11/11 Stages St. Louis topped off it's 25 season with the most successful Gala Fund Raiser in it's history. The black tie event raises money for Stages' Education & Outreach Programs providing a wealth of classes for students of all ages and scholarships so that no child will be turned away for lack of funds. This years entertainment was supplied by Stages alums Zoe Vonder Haar, Ben Nordstrom, Casey Erin Clark, managing director Jack Lane and Team Stages, the multi-genre acapella troupe. The evening of silent and live auctions and matching donations raised $435,000.00 for the Education & Outreach Programs and employment of local artists!

On Halloween night the Equity Liaison Committee hosted a membership meeting & farewell fete/birthday party for Central Regional Director Kathryn Lamkey. The festivities were held at the New Jewish Theatre and the party was open to local producers and their artistic staff. A good time was had by all with nothing scary in the mix. Happy Birthday and a heartfelt thank you to Kathryn!

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