GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

August 20, 2013

Beverly theater revival has Gloucester flavor

BEVERLY — When promoter Pete Lally spoke with audience members who attended a show at the Larcom Theatre last spring, he got two reactions.

“Either they said, ‘I haven’t been here since I was kid’ or ‘I had no idea this was here,’” Lally said.

Entering its second century, the Larcom, built in 1912, is about to leap back into the limelight.

The rarely-used theater on a side street off Beverly’s downtown has been booked for a series of off-Broadway shows and concerts from October to May. And the The Larcom will also host three one-night concerts in October, November and December, through Gloucester promoters Peter and Vickie Van Ness of Gimmelive and gimmesound.com. The series kicks off Oct. 5 with the Gloucester-based Allen Estes Band.

Van Ness, who has worked extensively in booking musical acts in Gloucester and around the North Shore — and was the driving force behind the acclaimed 2010 Celebrate Gloucester concert on the city’s then-newly acquired I-4, C-2 site — said there is no other venue around like the Larcom, which has 450 seats and is “acoustically perfect.”

“The last row in the balcony is a better seat than pretty much any other seat in any venue around here,” he said. “It’s just a spectacular space.”

Advocates are hoping the shows will not only revive the former vaudeville theater but also add vibrancy to the downtown and boost the city’s economy.

According to Lally, more than 2,000 people attended the “Late Night Catechism” shows over 16 nights at the Larcom last April and May that served as a kind of trial run for the upcoming series of shows.

“We talked to a lot of people who came last year, and they had never been in downtown Beverly,” said Beverly Main Streets Executive Director Gin Wallace. “It’s another reason to bring new people downtown.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle

Your news, your way
Pictures of the Week
Comments Tracker
AP Entertainment Videos
Adam Levine Launches Clothing Line for Women Paul Wesley Sinks His Teeth Into Directing Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Josh Thompson Streams Album to Hook New Fans Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast ShowBiz Minute: Singer, Young, Poehler Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Nas Movie Opens Tribeca Film Festival Zooey Deschanel Adds Designing to Her Repertoire Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Hits the Big Screen Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Swift's Bus Drives Into Country Hall of Fame ShowBiz Minute: Cyrus, Walker, Combs Pedro Pascal Plays 'Game of Thrones'' Red Viper Deeley Shows Acting Chops in Hulu's 'Deadbeat' Ora Strips Efron at MTV Awards ShowBiz Minute: MTV Awards, Lopez, Royals Stars Hit Red Carpet for MTV Movie Awards Conan Backs Colbert, Hosts MTV Movie Awards