Building a united brand with more dates and attractions, the Downtown Cabaret Theatre, celebrating its 40th anniversary, has joined forces with the five-year-old Bridgeport Theatre Company to create the Downtown Cabaret Main Stage Theatre featuring plays, musicals, concerts and award-winning children’s shows. Cabaret website here.
Hugh Hallinan, executive director of the DCT and Eli Newsom, BTC artistic director, made the announcement with Mayor Bill Finch and business leaders at a news conference.
The two organizations had experienced a strong loose-alliance with BTC events produced at DCT. The merger allows for unified branding, marketing, ticketing and promotional efforts in support of programming. The 300-seat DCT has been spruced up under new landlord Phil Kuchma who purchased the building from the city as part of an on-going mixed-use entertainment, housing, restaurant destination. Kuchma cleaned up blocks of Downtown with his mixed-use Bijou Square development on Fairfield Avenue.
“We plan to continue to offer high quality, affordable community theater here in Bridgeport, including musicals, plays and special events just as we have been for five seasons now, utilizing volunteer actors surrounded by a mix of a professional and volunteer staff,” says Newsom.
“The last thing I ever imagined was that BTC would be the answer to an intended re-start of Main Stage Theatre at DCT,” says Hallinan. “Well here we are and I can’t think of a better way to do it.”
2015/16 theater season will kick off in September with Memphis, a Motown score loosely based on Memphis radio personality Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music. Memphis will be followed by Fiddler on the Roof, The Great Gatsby, Evita, and rock musical American Idiot, based on the concept album by the band Green Day.
Children’s Theatre: Sleepy Hollow, A Christmas Carol, Jungle Book, James and the Giant Peach, and The Princess and the Pea.
Main Stage Concerts: Movin Out in Concert, Rod Stewart Tribute, Tom Sage as Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, Bennie and the Jets: NYE Cabaret Style, Tom Petty Tribute, Eric Clapton Tribute, The Who Tribute, Winter Dance Party, The Eagles Tribute, The Doors Tribute, Creedence Clearwater Tribute, Drifters Coasters and Salute to the Platters and more to be announced.