The Pabst Theater Organization Flirts with The Milwaukee Rite Center

Apr. 29, 2013
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The Pabst Theater Organization isn't letting a very full spring schedule at its three stages stop it hosting a concert at a fourth venue this weekend. The organization, which handles primary booking for the Pabst Theater, the Riverside Theater and the Turner Hall Ballroom, is also promoting Friday's Sara Bareilles concert at the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center Auditorium, which seats between 365 and 470 patrons. The unusual venue choice, Pabst spokesmen Andy Nelson says, came from the piano-pop singer's desire to play more intimate venues on her current acoustic tour. Feeling that the 1,000-capacity Turner Hall Ballroom was too big, the Pabst team began brainstorming other ideas, including the Rite Center, which Nelson says they'd heard about but never seen firsthand before. They were suitably impressed by what they saw.

The Bareilles booking has led to rumblings that the Pabst may adopt the Rite Center as a fourth venue, which Nelson dismisses as premature. Though the venue fits the Pabst Theater Organization model—it's Downtown and historic—right now most of its Fridays and Saturdays are booked with weddings and other private events.

"With all that said, I think it's a possibility we may do another show there," Nelson writes in an email. "At this point, this is NOT a 4th venue but we like it... we like it a lot."
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