Upon reopening in October 2009 as Rhode Island’s newest state-of-the-art performing arts center, the second life of the historic Park Theatre was met with moments of pessimism. Would it last? Could it attract high-quality performers, and would people attend shows in Cranston?
Five years later, those questions have been answered—the Park has not only survived, it’s excelled as one of the region’s premier entertainment venues.
Preparing to celebrate its 5th Anniversary, the Park Theatre is announced the first half of its 2014—2015 season, which features a wide-variety of shows including jazz, comedy, reggae, R&B and soul, international music, vocalese, magic, and more. Tickets for the Park’s newly-announced shows go on sale Monday, June 16. Additional shows will be announced soon.
“We are very excited about our new season and an opportunity to celebrate our fifth anniversary with the community and our loyal patrons,” said Yusuf Gandhi, Executive Director of the Park Theatre. “The Park has come a long way since 2009 and we feel the best is yet to come.”
In addition to its new shows, the Park is currently putting the finishing touches on a number of Anniversary-themed activities and special events for people of all ages, including free outdoor performances.
The Park’s new season begins on Sunday, September 28, when it will host the exciting band, Tower of Power. An R&B-based horn section and band, Tower of Power is known for its funky soul sound highlighted by powerful horns and precisely syncopated bass-guitar lines. The band’s impressive collection of work spans more than 40 years and 19 albums that have sold copies by the millions. Their biggest hits include “You’re Still a Young Man,” “So Very Hard to Go,” Soul Vaccination,” “What is Hip?” and more.
On October 2, Wayne Brady takes his incomparable style of comedy and improvisation to the Park as part of his “It’s My Line Tour.” A regular on the American version of Whose Line is it Anyway?, Brady is one of the most sought after comedians in the business today. He was also the host of the daytime talk show The Wayne Brady Show, the original host of Fox’s Don’t Forget the Lyrics, and currently hosts Let’s Make a Deal since its return in 2009.
Continuing in October, The Wailers—formed by the remaining members of Bob Marley & The Wailers following Marley’s death in 1981—will bring their world famous reggae sound on Friday, October 3. The band’s upcoming tour honors the 30th Anniversary of Legend, a compilation of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ greatest hits and the best-selling reggae album of all-time, and will include the entire album performed live.
Rounding-out October, the Park will host The Celtic Tenors on October 10. Considered one of the most renowned Irish groups on the planet for their Celtic, Operatic and re-worked popular songs, The Celtic Tenors have performed with some of the world's leading orchestras including The Toronto Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Back by popular demand following last year’s sold-out performance, Engelbert Humperdinck will take the Park’s stage on Sunday, October 12. Dubbed “The King of Romance” for his sensitive lyrics and ability to sing in a three-and-a-half-octave vocal range, Humperdinck’s Rhode Island return supports the recent release of his new star-studded duets album, Engelbert Calling—a 23 track double-album featuring appearances by Sir Elton John, Gene Simmons, Willie Nelson, and many others. October 17 welcomes jazz saxophonist and songwriter Boney James with special guest, guitarist Stanley Jordan. A 4-time Grammy winner and Soul Train Award winner who was named the #3 Contemporary Jazz Artist of the Decade by Billboard magazine in 2009, James, who was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, stakes claim to four RIAA Certified Gold Records. After dazzling the Park in 2013 as the opening act for Spyro Gyra, requests to bring back Stanley Jordan were undeniable. An acclaimed guitar virtuoso, Jordan is sure to wow the audience with his advanced playing technique of two-hand tapping.
November will feature a blend of shows sure to appeal to everyone. Master Illusionist Lyn Dillies gets the month started when she brings her riveting “Magic of Lyn” show to the Park on November 1. A true family-friendly event, Lyn is sure to keep the audience on the edge of their seats with her mix of captivating mystery and illusion. On November 7, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone will bring their timeless hits and English pop sound to Cranston. After bursting onto the UK music scene in 1963 as Herman & The Hermits, the band embodied the clean-cut image of their day and went on to not only achieve a successful music career, but also appearances in several MGM-produced movies. Following personnel changes, the band rebranded to their current name and continues to tour worldwide.
The current schedule of shows for 2014-2015 is as follows, with additional shows to be added:
- Sunday, September 28: Tower of Power
- Thursday, October 2: Wayne Brady and “It’s My Line” Tour
- Friday, October 3: The Wailers Band 30th Anniversary of Legend
- Friday, October 10: The Celtic Tenors
- Sunday, October 12: Engelbert Humperdinck
- Friday, October 17: Boney James with special guest Stanley Jordan
- Saturday, November 1: Lyn Dillies and “Magic of Lyn”
- Friday, November 7: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
Tickets for all shows go on sale Monday, June 16 through the Park’s Box Office at (401) 467-PARK and online at www.ParkTheatreRI.com. The Park Theatre is located at 848 Park Avenue, Cranston, RI 02910. Free parking is available for all shows.
About the Park Theatre
Built in 1924, the Park Theatre was as a cultural landmark for nearly eight decades until its closing in 2002. Following seven years and $10 million in renovations, the Park was reborn as Rhode Island’s newest performing arts center. A fully-equipped, state of the art multi-purpose facility, the Park features concerts, theatrical performances, opera, dance, children’s and family shows, and more. Through extensive renovations, the Park boasts a larger, deeper stage and 1,000 plush seats with significantly more legroom than most theatres. The facility also includes the Stage Door Restaurant & Lounge, a pre-show destination offering a unique environment for guests to enjoy dinners, appetizers, and cocktails before a performance. Free parking is available for all events. For more, visit www.ParkTheatreRI.com.