Cabaret to host next season at Cook Theater

Posted by kbrueckmann on November 17, 2016

By Alex Weilhammer, IndyStar correspondent 

The Cabaret announced Thursday its new location for the 2017 winter-spring season, the latest among a handful of Indianapolis arts institutions to reveal relocation plans.

The Cabaret is moving from the Columbia Club Downtown to Indiana Landmarks Center's Cook Theater, 1201 Central Ave. at East 12th Street. On Sept. 28, The Cabaret announced it was leaving the Columbia Club.

"Partnerships reach their point where this has played itself out, and it was awesome, and now both (organizations) need some growing room," said Shannon Forsell, artistic director and CEO of The Cabaret. "(The Columbia Club) needs the space for weddings and events, and we need the space more because all of our shows sell out and we have no ability to add any shows."

Patrons of The Cabaret can enjoy up-close-and-personal performances from both nationally acclaimed and local artists. A small, cozy setting paired with food and drinks combines to create an intimate, entertaining experience.

In its current home, The Cabaret seats 142 people. Cook Theater has a seating capacity of 192.

While The Cabaret is still contemplating where its permanent home will be, Cook Theater will host five shows from Feb. 11 to May 5. Tickets go on sale Jan. 13.

The Cabaret is one of five arts organizations to have recently announced plans to relocate. Some simply wanted more space. Others wanted to make parking easier for patrons. All want to expand services and become even more involved in the arts community.

Here is a look at the other four:

Phoenix Theatre

The Phoenix Theatre announced Oct. 18 that it would move from 749 N. Park Ave. to a new facility on the corner of Illinois and Walnut streets in early 2018.

For more than three decades, the Phoenix has encouraged the Indianapolis community to think critically about the cultural and political state of our country.

The current 6,700-square-foot location features a main stage that seats 130, a smaller stage that seats 75 and a bar.

Its planned facility would feature 20,000 square feet of space. Main stage seating would grow to 150, and the smaller stage would have seating for 90. New amenities would include a grand lobby, donor lounge, gallery, prep kitchen, scene shop, costume shop and classrooms that double as rehearsal space.

The Phoenix will start building its new facility around March, and the expectation is to start working there no later than early 2018.

Phoenix Theatre has raised 70 percent of funds for new building

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library will move to 646 Massachusetts Ave. on April 11, 2017, the 10-year anniversary of the Indianapolis author's death.

For the past five years, the library has preserved Vonnegut's legacy in 1,100 square feet of space at 340 Senate Ave. There enshrined sits a library of Vonnegut's books, photos of him and his family, rejection letters and personal drawings, among other such artifacts.

The library's new home will be four times larger. Julia Whitehead, founder and CEO, said she is eager to use the new space to host authors, artists, classrooms and book clubs.

The grand opening will take place April 8, Whitehead said.

Peewinkle's Puppet Studio

Peewinkle's Puppet Studio moved from 25 E. Henry St. to the Indiana State Museum this past September.

Peewinkle's, which hosts about 95 shows each year, seated 48 people at its prior location, Executive Director Debbi White said. The theater at the museum, 650 W. Washington St., seats about 65. The new location also offers a dedicated workshop space for patrons to make their own puppets after shows.

Peewinkle's was founded in 1994. It also runs two weeks of summer camps and four mini-camps.

Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art

The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art announced Sept. 22 that it would leave the Murphy Building in Fountain Square, its home since 2009. A new home has not been chosen.

The museum will close its gallery in the Murphy Arts Center after "Unloaded," an exhibit exploring firearms in our culture, closes Nov. 19. The museum's other location, the CityWay gallery, can be found at The Alexander hotel, 333 S. Delaware St. "Unloaded" also is on display there and will run through Dec. 31. The museum's lease with The Alexander runs through 2017.

The museum said in a news release that it wants to expand its exhibitions and programming while still serving "the greater Indianapolis community."

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"Awesome venue! I tell everyone I know about The Cabaret and encourage them to see a show."

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