A brand new comedy membership will open contained in the historic Park Theatre in Cranston this weekend, and for one native comic, it’s a dream thirty years within the making.
Bill Simas, the founding father of the comedy fundraising sequence Funny4Funds, has a brand new enterprise up his sleeve. The Rhode Island-based comic is now the founding father of the Comedy Park, a brand new comedy membership opening contained in the Park Theatre on Cranston’s Rolfe Square.
“All the people I’ve helped over the years are now coming out of the woodwork to support me on this,” he tells Rhode Island Monthly.
Simas has been dreaming of opening a comedy membership since he was sixteen, however it was the current buy and reopening of the Park Theatre that allowed him to make the dream a actuality. After native restaurant homeowners Ed Brady and Jeff Quinlan introduced plans to buy the theater final yr, he says, the pair approached him about opening a comedy membership. The membership is a separate venue throughout the constructing with its personal entrance and seating space.
This weekend, the 140-seat membership will host its official grand opening with “Launch the Laughter,” a double headliner present that includes Simas and comic Mike Koutrobis of Massachusetts. Shows will happen at on Friday, May 6, at 8 p.m. and on Saturday, May 7, at 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.
Simas says he plans to host a spread of native and regional comedians, and exhibits are already booked out by way of the summer season. Shows shall be scheduled Thursdays by way of Sundays. Upcoming acts embrace “Funniest Comic in Boston” winner Dan Smith and Frank Santorelli, a.ok.a. “Georgie the Bartender” on “The Sopranos.”
“I want it to have a nice, kind of an upscale feel where they can come out and it’s just all around an easy club environment. Good food, good comedy,” he says.
In 2014, Simas and co-founder Mike Murray began Funny4Funds, a fundraising enterprise that works with organizations to coordinate charity comedy occasions. Simas says he plans to attract on his community of comedians from all through the area when reserving acts on the Comedy Park.
“Running a club is totally different than everything I’ve done before. This is my first go-around. I’m excited, I’m nervous, but I am totally committed to building a brand,” he says.
In addition to the membership, the house can be the brand new dwelling of the Rhode Island Comedy Hall of Fame. Once an online-only affair, the Hall of Fame now incorporates a gallery of caricatures by member and longtime cartoonist Charlie Hall. Last weekend, Hall of Fame members and supporters gathered to have fun the disclosing in a pre-opening present that includes lots of Rhode Island’s favourite names in comedy.
The Comedy Park now joins longtime East Providence favourite, the Comedy Connection, in providing standup acts within the Ocean State. Simas says he wished to offer comedy followers one other choice to attend stay exhibits within the West Bay.
“I want it to feel like ‘Cheers,’” he says. “Remember the show ‘Cheers’ where everyone knows your name? They’re going to come see a good show.”