There was a full house for the grand opening of downtown's new Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education. Then again, any house that Pat Halloran's in is a full house. (rimshot!) But for real, I'm only making mean jokes about Halloran because he's being roasted in the Peabody Hotel's Grand Ballroom this week to raise money for his new namesake education center. And also because it's fun.
But for real real, if anybody deserves a fancy dinner and night in the spotlight, it's Halloran. The guy's got three Tony Awards. He moved to the Mid-South in 1969 and founded Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Mid-South shortly thereafter. He was a city council member in the 1970s, and in 1980, he started working with the Memphis Development Foundation where he helped raise money to save the Orpheum Theatre and restore it to its 1920s-era opulence. Halloran received the Broadway League's Outstanding Broadway Executive Award in 1999 and was elected to that organization's Board of Governors in 2002. That's just the tip of a pretty impressive resume.
The new Halloran Centre on South Main, just south of Beale, is an impressive new addition to the downtown landscape and the crowning achievement of a man who will otherwise be remembered for his failures. Like ...
Do you remember that Pat Halloran ran for mayor? You don't? Well, it was a long time ago. A long, long time ago. And he lost.