Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There Are Amazing People Everywhere...Like Gary Solomon

By Daena Smoller

There are many special people making a positive difference in the world and on behalf of the all-positive talk radio network, HealthyLife.net, I'm pleased to write a few words about one such person in New Orleans and the cause he championed.

Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré is the oldest active continuous live playhouse in the United States, located right across the street from the Cabildo at Jackson Square in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Two buildings make up the theater which actually has a main auditorium for large productions and a second, smaller auditorium used for a variety of performances. Before 1788, the building with the smaller stage was actually a wooden structure serving as a residence for the Bishop (of the St. Louis Cathedral located across the street, standing at the center of Jackson Square) and after the building burned in 1788 in one of the two great French Quarter fires, the property was rebuilt in 1789 to house the last ruling Spanish Governor of Louisiana.

For almost a hundred years, Le Petit Theatre has been a cultural gem in New Orleans with a great deal of historical significance. But financial issues and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina brought Le Petit Theatre to its knees and by March of 2009, the theater Board of Directors was forced to lay off the theater staff. It looked like the curtain was about to fall permanently inside the French Quarter icon. But then, something amazing happened.

Gary Solomon, a young man from New Orleans who had recently opened his own entertainment company, the Solomon Group, stepped up and offered his services and those of his company to take temporary control of the property and turn the bleak situation around…all at no charge. Less than a year later filled with hard work, fundraisers, special events, new management and a 2010 full slate of desirable upcoming stage productions, the theater has experienced a doubling of subscriptions and widespread renewed interest in Le Petit Theatre. Be sure to visit the website of Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré and sign up for the e-blast newsletter and check out the upcoming stage productions and other special events.

Hats off to Gary Solomon who provides a shining example of dedication to his hometown community. But who is this man? Here’s more information from his published biography:

Gary Solomon is the President of Solomon Design Associates and its parent company, Solomon Group. Current and recent ventures include the creation of a signature entertainment attraction for the National World War II Museum; the General Management of Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre; the new Broadway-bound musicals White Noise and Same Color Sky; the Tony-nominated revival of Guys and Dolls and After the Storm – an inspiring non-profit theatre and film project created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and produced with Rosie O’Donnell. Gary earned his degree from New York University where he studied in the Technical Production Track at the Tisch School of the Arts. As a talented young designer, he was invited to collaborate with world-renowned architect and designer David Rockwell to create a showcased design installation. He serves on the boards of the NO / AIDS Task Force and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. In 2008, the New Orleans weekly magazine, GAMBIT, honored him as one of the city’s top achievers. WWL-TV, the New Orleans CBS affiliate, profiled him as a rising entrepreneur and philanthropist. NEW ORLEANS Magazine honored him as one of 2009’s Top People to Watch. Today, Gary’s skills and interests generate business and creative successes in many different ways for himself, his partners, clients and community.

I hope this blog has been of some inspiration to you. And for further daily inspiration and enlightenment, you’ll want to check out and tune into the amazing mind – body – spirit – green programming all available to you for free, at HealthyLife.net. And of course, don’t forget to get your daily dose of good news with no fear with NEWS @ 7, exclusively at HealthyLife.net!

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