This past Saturday Night was a memorable one in St. Louis, with the Grand Reopening of the Peabody Opera House…formerly known as the Kiel Auditorium.
The night started with the red carpet treatment, as VIP’s and dignitaries made their way to several different private parties in the newly renovated theatrical gem.
Arriving at the owner’s party, I immediately spotted Senator Clair McCaskill. Senator Blunt was there as well, along with legendary Cardinal Ozzie Smith, members of the St. Louis Blues and dozens of other political leaders from St. Louis and Jefferson City. As is always the case, it was pretty fascinating to sit back and watch people “be seen” before the start of the show.
My roll was a simple one Saturday Night…to provide the V.O.G. (I’m rolling my eyes here). I play a similar roll at the U.S. Open in New York during ceremonies. V.O.G. translates to the Voice of God. (I prefer Voice of Gumby)
St. Louis’ Ellie Kemper (“The Office” and “Bridesmaids”) emceed the gala event, and the night featured a moving dedication of the new building with Dave Checketts, Greg Boyce of Peabody Energy and talented developers Joe and Chris McKee.
Jay Leno then took the stage for over an hour, and ended his set by offering an additional $10,000 to the Trotter Center at Barnes Jewish Hospital, the recipient of the net proceeds of the night.
Aretha Franklin then played an exhausting 90-minutes…taking time to bring up several special guests, including Chuck Berry!
It was a memorable night with an enthusiatic audience, excited to have such an historic St. Louis landmark back in the entertainment game; and it was honor to have played a small part in such a successful evening.
“St. Louis – The Peabody Opera House is now yours!”