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Future Unfolds For Odeum Theatre

Among the acts scheduled in 2013 are Greg Abate and Cherish the Ladies.


For possibly the final time, the East Greenwich Town Council Monday night extended property tax relief to the Greenwich Odeum until Jan. 26, as it readies to open for performances by then.

The theater's return to performance venue status has been years in the process, with a raft of volunteers working to make it happen.

Odeum board president Frank Prosnitz calls the Saturday, Jan. 26, date "the actual grand opening." Local singer Phoebe Madden and other Rhode Island artists will perform that night, he told the Council.

The Greenwich Odeum held an earlier "grand opening" fundraiser Saturday, Dec. 1. According to Prosnitz, more than 150 people attended the event, which incorporated live music, a silent auction, food and beverages. They netted $10,000, Prosnitz said.

Other acts lined up so far include jazz saxophonist Greg Abate on Feb. 9, Cherish the Ladies on March 10, and the Cleveland Sign Stage Theatre on April 14. They are also talking about putting together a comedy series once a month. 

At Monday night's meeting were Kristin and Elissa Coutoulakis, nieces of Stephen Erinakes and part owners, with their brother, of the theater.

They said they were just trying to learn more about the situation. According to the Odeum board, the Odeum Corporation owns the theater outright. Erinakes, whose parents long ran the theater, then a movie house known as the Greenwich Theater, has disputed that claim. 

The Coutalakis sisters find themselves in a bit of a bind. Their one sibling, a brother, has joined the Odeum's board. The sisters were invited too, they said, but they haven't signed on. Not that they aren't happy with the progress being made at the theater.

"We're proud the Odeum's reopening," said Elissa Coutoulakis. 

At the same time, however, they aren't happy the promissory note to their uncle for $500,000 is not being honored. 

"A promissory note is a promissory note," said Kristin Coutoulakis. Indicating a possible way forward, she added, "That's for the judge to decide." 

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