Duo team on entertainment complex

National Amusements, Kraft pair on endeavor

National Amusements and New England Patriots owner Kraft Group, are partnering on a live entertainment complex to open in August as part of Patriot Place in Foxboro, Mass.

Dubbed Showcase Live, the venue will seat approximately 500 and can be converted to a space for 1,000 standees. National Amusements, operator of the Showcase exhib chain, is thought to be experimenting with the venue as a prototype for the theater chain to expand into live entertainment. At a press conference to tubthump the project on Tuesday, National Amusements topper Shari Redstone would only say that “we’re focused on bringing this to Foxboro” and would not discuss future plans.

“This is where we’re going to experiment,” she said.

The venue will be part of a complex that includes Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play, and Showcase Cinema de Lux, a 14-screen multiplex. The site will also include hotels, restaurants and retail. Showcase Live will be booked by Blue Note Entertainment Group, which also books Blue Note Jazz Clubs, B. B. King Blues Club, and the Highline Ballroom in New York City.

Kraft Group honcho Robert Kraft said he sees the overall complex as creating a major entertainment attraction in New England and beyond, away from the congestion of cities like Boston and Providence. He predicted it would become “the number one destination in New England” within five years.

Plan is to use the space for everything from live comedy to children’s theater to private events, in addition to concerts. Showcase Live’s amenities will include a 52-foot long bar and VIP banquettes. Initial bookings for the space include jazz legend Dave Brubeck, rocker Peter Frampton, R&B singer Chaka Khan, and dancer Savion Glover.

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