The area's cultural scene is expanding Friday evening, as MusicalFare Theatre opens its new cabaret space with "A Tribute to the Music of Louis Prima."
The new space is visible from the outside as a long wall of tinted glass and inside as the expanded lounge and bar area off the old theater lobby, a space long-packed with customers waiting to go into the Mainstage or using the intermission.
Since the new space was added, Artistic and Executive Director Randall Kramer said bar business has boomed and some of the cast and musical crew have performed after recent performances of "Tommy."
Kramer said the $800,000 addition is the key to the theater company surviving into the future.
"We found as we've been moving along these last five years that a lot of the traditional theater model is very hard to keep working at an efficient level," Kramer told WBFO News.
"By creating a new space that has new revenues associated with it, whether it be additional concessions from our Mainstage performances or brand new performances in a cabaret setting, we think that actually is a key to our future success and longevity."
The Louis Prima show opening tonight is a cabaret-style re-working of a show about the performer and wife Keely Smith which has run several times at MusicalFare, featuring the husband and wife team of Debbie Pappas and Norm Sham.
Kramer says the plan is to have cabaret weekends when there isn't a show on the main stage, perhaps 17 or 18-weekends.