Happy Anniversary Fundraiser At Columbus Theatre

columbus theatre (11.16) How many times did I pass this marquee, sigh, and keep on walking. But that’s because I lacked the vision, the initiative — the stamina, energy, and optimism — needed to imagine its rebirth. (I should work on these things I suppose. Later.) Fortunately, certain other people have these qualities in spades. Enter Ben Knox Miller and Jeff Prystowsky of the Low Anthem who not only saw the building’s potential as a performance space but envisioned a home base for their new recording collective and independent label, the Columbus Recording Company. Musician Sarah Bertness took readers inside the venue last May — the label was releasing its first album, Vudu Sister’s ‘Household Items’ — for Providence Monthly.

When The Low Anthem’s Knox Miller and Prystowsky returned to Providence early last year in search of a venue to set up and record their new album, they met Columbus owner and fellow Brown alum Jon Berberian, an opera singer whose father had bought the theater as a graduation gift decades back. The Columbus had sat empty for three years at the time, having fallen below code. It’s easy to see why as artists, creators, and cerebral musicians, Knox Miller and Prystowsky were smitten with the space. Beyond the beauty of the old school opera house, with its muraled ceilings, gold trimmed portraits of composers and their muses, and a stage with all-original levered light system and red velvet curtains controlled by pulleys – there was the sound.

And speaking of sound, the proceeds from tonight’s Revival (Survival) 2013! party will help with the acquisition of a new sound system for the building. (Also on Knox Miller’s wish list: a patron/sponsor/angel to restore the creaky old Wurlitzer organ.)

Tonight’s fundraiser features the Felice Brothers, the Low Anthem, Happiness (Ian, Chris and Dennis from Deer Tick + Rafay from Ravi Shavi — first show!), Anais Mitchell, Arc Iris, Pixels, Roz and the Rice Cakes, and Tapestries.

And a big thank you to everyone involved in this glorious project.

Doors 6:30pm, show 7:30pm, $30 day of, Saturday, November 16, Columbus Theatre, 270 Broadway, two stages, Facebook

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