Bringing Broadway To The Pierre

The transporting power of live theater is something I’ve been fortunate to experience many times—going back to my childhood days of seeing Broadway musicals with my late, beloved parents. I’ve always felt that theater not only takes you out of your world while immersing you in another, it is a reminder of our shared humanity and common experiences—something that’s never felt more important or comforting given these turbulent times.

When I joined The Pierre six months ago, I had a vision of bringing the magic of Broadway to this iconic five-star hotel. That vision recently came true—and it was even more exciting than I imagined.

My first experience of working with the theater community happened at Starwood Hotels. I loved every minute of it, impressed by those in front of and behind the scenes. Unlike other entertainment fields, the theater world is primarily populated with down to earth, accommodating people who make collaborating a true pleasure. There is no greater example of this than the team over at WICKED.

Me and Marissa, a member of WICKED’s marketing dream team

Having partnered with the acclaimed musical on an activation a few years ago at the Westin Times Square, I thought of it immediately for The Pierre. When I reached out via email, the show’s gracious company manager got right back to me even though she was on vacation. And so began our second partnership, with several fun elements including a costume display, show-themed cocktails and the WICKED Witch Hat Trick– a theatrical dessert dreamed up by our award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Michael Mignano, complete with smoke from dry ice and a melting chocolate hat.

The WICKED Witch Hat Trick: Available at Perrine on Halloween!

Of course, the main event of this great collaboration was a cabaret-style performance in The Pierre’s swanky Two E Lounge. Reuniting for the occasion–WICKED alums Jenny DiNoia (Elphaba) and Hayley Podschun (Glinda), who became best friends while performing in the show’s national tour.

Hayley Podschun (left) and Jenny DiNoia brought the house down at The Pierre’s Two E Lounge

Their 60-minute set was incredible from start to finish. In addition to singing beloved songs from the show including Popular and Defying Gravity, Hayley and Jenny shared stories of life on the road and delivered pitch perfect renditions of several pop hits. The highlight for me came when they sang the epic ballad For Good. They became visibly emotional and, as I have both times I’ve seen WICKED, I found myself getting tearful as well. The song always hits me at my core and this time was no exception.

As I listened to the words, I couldn’t help thinking about the song’s message–that the impact people have on our lives can be a lasting one even if their presence is not. I thought of friendships past, family members who have passed and long ago loves. And, of course, the many amazing people who fill my life today. How profoundly blessed I have been by all of them.

Encore, encore: All smiles with (from left) Hayley, Jenny and Musical Director/Pianist Benjamin Rauhala

After the show, I had the pleasure of chatting with Hayley and Jenny, both as beautiful and gracious as they are talented. I got a little emotional as I thanked them for turning my vision into a reality and they gave me a big hug.

We already have three more musicals confirmed for The Pierre series. Sometimes, just like Dorothy sang in The Wizard of Oz, the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.


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