Before I speak any further of our fabulous time in St. Louis, I must first tell you about the most incredible theatre I've been in, let alone had the great privilege of performing in, The Fabulous Fox! Built originally in 1929 as a movie palace by movie mogul William Fox and the architect C. Howard Crane, this opulent theatre went mostly unnoticed for the first half of the twentieth century, scraping to get by during the depression era. By the 1970's, the theatre survived solely from Kung Fu movies and various rock tours coming through, and was finally closed in 1978, not even 50 years old at the time. But in 1981, it was rediscovered by Leon and Mary Strauss, who with the help of a flashlight and one working light bulb, discovered the immaculate theatre hidden under the built up dust of 52 years. They restored the theatre to it's original, jaw dropping form, and since it's re-awakening in 1982, The Fox has boasted performances from some of the greatest artists of our time. Upon arrival, it's almost as if you've transported to another place (perhaps The Temple of Siam?). There is not one inch of this 4200+ seat theatre that goes without detail and history. From the hand molded designs, to the multiple faces staring down at you, marble pillars and the gorgeous colorful chandelier, it not only felt like a theatre, but a place of worship. There was so much to learn and see, we were privileged enough to have our very own tour of the place!
Our tour guide Carl was my favorite! He saw me snapping away at my camera and would tell me where to stand to get the best shots of the theaters details.
For some reason, Carl really liked to show us the various bathrooms in the theatre. They were so pretty though, I was not complaining.
Underneath the stage, there is actually a movie theatre with all the old film equipment in tact! How cool is that?
Backstage is just as exciting as the front of the theatre is with giant murals of past shows that have played the Fox, and thousands upon thousands of signatures of all the people that have performed there. Below were some of my favorites!
Right: Chita Rivera
Bill Cosby (with all the accusations of him going on at the time, I couldn't get over that this was one of the main signatures I saw descending the stairs every day!)
Liberace (one of his many signatures about the place.)
Audra McDonald (no, I did not write my name next to hers, that was there)
But of course, we did make sure to leave our mark on our dressing room door, otherwise known as the 'Whores on Tour' door.
I never really did get a reason as to why the theatre was more of a grand temple than a place of entertainment. The closest answer I heard was that the original builders figured the more decadent the interior, the more likely it would be for people to visit. Almost thirty years after it's second opening and with theatre goers traveling from near and far to see performances there, I think the theatre achieves just that. Thank you Fox for an unforgettably fabulous time!
Stay tuned for the last bit of tour photos coming soon!