Musical venue opening in Carson City

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Carson City's newest venue for musicians and other performing artists is humble in size but aims to attract big-name musicians.

The Upstage Center Creative Complex and Theater, 900 Mallory Way, has its official opening tonight, with its first concert set for next month.

Upstage's concept is to bring performers not commonly seen in the valley areas or Lake Tahoe. There will also be plays, local music and a variety of businesses dedicated to the performance arts housed in the building.

The company's first show on Sept. 20, featuring Beatles cover band "The Fab Four," will perform a tribute unparalleled in the music community, said Doug Reynolds, a managing partner in the business.

"We wanted to do something here in the community," he said. "Because the theater is 220 seats, we had launched this idea of a country club for music.

"What that enables us to do is pay for talent you couldn't normally get with a small theater."

Although no A-list performers have been booked, Reynolds predicts that approximately half of the 11 concerts in the country club series will be established acts with a big following. The remaining shows will be up-and-coming musicians who have the potential for future stardom.

Reynolds, a design artist by trade, said the former home of Stage Craft, a Carson City company that designed and built sets for touring musicians, was a perfect fit for a performing arts complex. The building is still owned by John Procaccini and his family, and there is little overhead for such an ambitious start-up.

Upstage hopes to fund the country club program with corporate sponsorships. In exchange for a donation ranging from $100 to $12,500, business members will get advertising at the venue and on literature, plus tickets to the shows. There are no plans to sell general admission tickets.

On a postcard sent out to potential members, Upstage asks respondents to circle three names of artists they would like to see in a list that includes Air Supply, Alan Parsons, Donovan, Toni Tennille and others.

Reynolds envisions an atmosphere that will attract adult concert goers who may be turned off by the crowds or smoke in common concert halls.

Before the shows, attendees will be treated to hors d'oevres and cocktails, and afterward they will be able to meet the musicians.

"It's a thing where instead of fighting a crowd, it will be small and intimate," Reynolds said. "And they can meet the entertainer."

Beside the country club series, Upstage will host battles of the bands, local and touring plays, and comedians.

For aspiring musical groups, the hall can be rented for a small fee,with promotions left to the band. In exchange, bands will have access to professional quality recordings and video production. If the bands sell enough tickets, they can see a profit.

Besides live performance, the Upstage Center is already transforming into a center for performance arts-related businesses. Inside the building are offices for digital recording studio, a dance troupe, a design studio, mobile stage company and an entertainment marketing group.

For information on the Upstage Center - or tonight's open house - visit, or call 882-8900, ext. 100.

What: Upstage Center open house

Where: 900 Mallory Way

When: 5-7 p.m. today


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