Another good sign: touring agencies are starting to call the Odeum for bookings.
Things are looking up for the Odeum after this LONG pandemic. While the Odeum team has been very inventive since March 2020 coming up with various revenue-generating ideas, the theater’s main purpose is to bring people together. Not exactly what the doctor ordered after COVID-19 hit Rhode Island.
While things have improved a lot here in Rhode Island, theaters like the Odeum depend on touring performers. The good news is performers are starting to tour again. That said, those sorts of bookings won’t happen until fall “at the earliest … dependent on capacity changes,” said Odeum Board Chair Dan Speca.
“We’re also waiting to hear on our submitted application for the Shuttered Venue Operators grant money,” he said. They should hear by the end of the month.
But music is playing at the Odeum, including a virtual show Friday, May 14, featuring EG’s own Marielle Kraft and local band The Naticks, which includes Chris Capuano from EG and Ross MacAndrew and Drew Croll from Potowomut. Kraft is making a name for herself nationally and The Naticks have become RI’s best known indie-rock band. You can buy a ticket and support the Odeum HERE.
There are some limited-capacity live shows coming up: Hubby Jenkins (from the Carolina Chocolate Drops) May 15, Tiffany on June 25 and Sophie B. Hawkins on May 21 (with a virtual stream May 22)
The Odeum is also offering movie events for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, featuring the movies Notting Hill and Field of Dreams (we will leave it to you to figure out which movie goes with which day), along with some special treats.
And, with graduation season upon us, you can always rent the marque to spell out your love or pride or gratitude or ??? for your loved one.
Speca is proud of the way the theater pivoted after the pandemic hit.
“Many venues went dark, and financial obligations stacked up,” he said. “We were maybe quiet through April , when we started renting the marquee and offering private screenings but the summer kids camps also continued right through 2020 (with some modification). Then doing limited capacity concerts came late summer/early fall. And merch sales were something we always talked about but never offered until last October…so we were always doing something, staying ‘open,’ and hopefully providing that confidence to the patron-base that we were not closing! Not having to answer to anyone (privately-owned non-profit who owns their own building) really helped us as well.”
This wasn’t the 2020 or 2021 the Odeum had hoped for (remember, they just completed a huge upstairs renovation), but they are making it work.