What do the Joffrey Ballet, Jimi Hendrix, Teddy Roosevelt and David Sedaris have in common? They all appeared on the stage of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. This historic venue is celebrating its 125th birthday with a sensational star studded 2014-15 season and celebrity gala in December.
The Auditorium Theatre built in 1889 and was often referred to as “the eighth wonder of the world.’ Designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, with assistance from a young draftsman Frank Lloyd Wright, the Auditorium Theatre featured cutting-edge of technology – 3,500 light bulbs (only publicly seen for the first time in 1879) and air conditioning that required delivery of 15 tons of ice daily.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel congratulates this milestone year on behalf of all Chicagoan’s, “This national historic landmark is representative of our rich history in the arts as well as the unique Chicago architecture styles that have influenced American building structures for generations. The Auditorium theatre continues to make Chicago a leader in the arts and culture today, and I wish the theatre nothing but good fortunes in the coming years.”
At the time of its opening the Auditorium Building was the epitome of modern design and a showcase for an extraordinary caliber of talent over the past 125 years. Highlighting the anniversary celebration is a special Gala performance on December 9, 2014, exactly 125 years from when the Auditorium Theatre’s doors opened in 1889. The evening will host members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, singers from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as The Apollo Chorus – who participated in the opening night 125 years ago (the groups not the performers). They will be joined by surprise celebrity guests (watch for those announcements). The gala performance will be followed by a celebrity dinner at the Palmer House.
“The Auditorium’s 125th Anniversary Season showcases the incredible diversity and scope that has graced this historic landmark stage for 125 years,” said Auditorium Theatre Executive Director Brett Batterson. “When the doors of the Auditorium Theatre opened in 1889, the world was not expecting the grandeur…a historic place where anything could happen. From National Conventions to stunning theatrical performances, breathtaking ballet to the most heart-pounding rock concerts, this building has seen a little bit of everything and true history lives within the intricate walls that are sure to house another 125 years of extraordinary talent and mesmerizing performances.”