UPTOWN — A month into construction, the newest addition to Uptown’s growing entertainment district — Uptown Underground — is beginning to take shape.
“There’s something magical about seeing a place that has only existed in my imagination, come into physical being,” said Chris O. Biddle, co-founder of Uptown Underground and co-producer of the long-running Kiss Kiss Cabaret show.
Although Uptown Underground — located in the basement of the Uptown Broadway Building at 4707 N. Broadway — has been in the works for more than a year, construction on the new theater space began Oct. 1.
Co-founder Jenn Kincaid, who also produces Kiss Kiss Cabaret, said construction workers have been working “overtime” and are on track to complete the space by the end of December, in time for Kiss Kiss Cabaret to take the stage for its annual New Year’s Eve Hullabaloo.
“It will be our first big event in the space,” said Kincaid, “which will roll right into our grand opening week the first week in January.”
Kincaid said many of the shows the first couple days in January will be invitation only, but the public should “mark their calendars” for Jan. 4, when the theater will have an open house evening event.
Kincaid said when designing the layout of the theater, she and Biddle wanted to “preserve the underground, industrial feel as much as possible.” Marbled, gray cement walls and exposed brick will be left uncovered as opposed to building new walls and retro decorations with a early 20th century vibe will adorn the walls.
“A lot of the gilt and glamour of that era will come in,” said Kincaid.
To highlight Uptown’s history with Al Capone, Kincaid said old photographs of the “gangsters of the time period” will hang in antique and vintage frames. Patrons can also tool around with fully functioning arcade games from the 1920s and 1930s.
Although an entertainment schedule has not been set, Kincaid said when the theater opens Kiss Kiss Cabaret will perform Friday and Saturday nights. An Indianapolis-based dance troupe called PUR will likely perform the first Saturday of every month, in addition to other dates. Local drag queen Muffy Fishbasket will be performing an original drag queen comedy show and cabaret professionals and musicians will also fill out the schedule.
“You’re going to see modern takes on a classic type of entertainment,” Kincaid said. “It is already classic because we’re going back to this very intimate, very up close and personal style. We just wanted to make sure that these performers got their chance in the spotlight.”
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: