The Park Theatre will reopen its main stage on Oct. 28 for the first time in six weeks since flooding from excessive rain burst through the theatre’s walls and ceiling. All postponed shows have successfully been rescheduled and Ed Brady, co-owner of the Park Theatre and co-founder of Dig In Dining and Entertainment, said the theatre is looking forward to the upcoming performances.
“All the damage has been mediated and fixed so everyone can feel safe,” said Brady.
Brady recalled the day Rhode Island received flash flooding on Sept. 5 and how he raced to the theatre and discovered the damage.
“I can’t even explain the emotions at that moment, knowing that we had just successfully produced our first concert in that area and the amount of money we’ve invested in that space, while not knowing the certainty of the future,” Brady said.
While the cost of damage is over six figures, the theatre’s team rallied to find immediate solutions to reopen. Brady said the setback was devastating at the time, however, it was also enlightening since many people showed up willing to help.
The theatre will now kick off its reopening on Oct. 28 Psychic Medium Matt Fraser; Fraser is the star of the hit television series Meet The Frasers on E! Entertainment.
“Matt’s show sold out in less than 24 hours and was the fastest show to sell out in the theatre’s history,” Brady said.
The following night, the theatre will hold its first Haunted Theatre Halloween Party (21+) which will be hosted with Rhody Foody. Brady said the event will feature DJs and entertainers, prizes and special performances throughout the evening.
According to Brady, the theatre’s show lineup hits every age group, demographic and culture. Prior to the temporary closure, Brady said the momentum of people coming to the theatre has been strong.
Additional upcoming events include Frank Santos Jr., the X-Rated Hypnotist with Comedian Charlie Hall on Nov. 4, and Broadway Divas on Saturday Nov. 5 where five leading ladies of Broadway will join the Park Theatre for an exciting night. There will also be a tribute to Queen on Nov. 11 for Veterans Day. Brady added that the nonprofit Cranston Cares will offer free coffee to the first 222 veterans throughout the day. Veterans are also able to receive half off tickets to the “Majesty the Queen” show that night.
A big aspect of the theatre is supporting the community. Dig In Dining and Entertainment will host its tenth annual collaborative Toys 4 Tots Drive inside the Park Theatre’s Cafe & Comedy Park on Nov. 29.
“To have this space and the ability to keep helping community based causes – specifically here in Cranston and throughout Rhode Island is kind of what the entire vision was,” Brady said.
Guests will enjoy live music all night and the theatre asks the community to bring an unwrapped toy for a child in need. Toys 4 Tots will end two weeks later on Dec. 10 with a show featuring Billy Gilman.
Additionally, individuals can end 2022 and start the new year with a show from Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti on Dec. 30 and a New Year’s Eve Hollywood Glam Party hosted by Rhody Foody and various curators and creators throughout the ocean state.
Since the theatre’s grand reopening in the spring, Park Theatre has had a phased opening. In 2023, all parts of the venue will be open.
Brady said the theatre’s cafe is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and select nights for featured showcases and events. Open mic nights are held every Wednesday and hosted by Mike Murray and Rhoda Corey. Meanwhile, the Comedy Park hosts weekend comedy shows and welcomes organizations to host monthly fundraisers with the venue’s friends from Funny 4 Funds.
The Rolfe Supper Club is also open and will have pop-up themed signature events such as celebrity chef series, Kid’s Kitchen, Craft Culinary cocktail competitions, seasonal vendor markets, dinner and show and so much more. Last but not least, the Mezzanine Club will open in 2023 and memberships will be available for corporate sponsorships, season passes, exclusive private events and more; all spaces are available to rent.
Looking toward the future, Brady said the theatre has big ideas – though the venue is taking it day by day. The hope is to eventually upgrade the building’s exterior and continue revitalizing the interior. Additionally, someone recently donated a projector which the theatre would like to use for community movie nights.
Brady talked about how economic development has gone beyond the theatre’s walls and that restaurants in Rolfe Square and the nearby area have had people come in before and after Park Theatre shows.
“Our mission is to continue to bring people back together during these divisive times to enjoy life together while having some fun. We are an incubator for arts, music, theatre, creation and inclusion. Dig In Dining and Entertainment proudly invests here throughout our Rhode Island communities because Rhode Island is home and we need to grow together. This holiday season we are excited to open our doors back at The Historic Park Theatre & Event Center and we need your help,” Brady said.
For a full list of upcoming shows, ticket prices and more, visit theparkri.com/.