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Around Rogers Park - Old Performance Space Given New Life as Rhapsody Theater

The old Morse Theater at 1328 West Morse has been through a lot of transformations in its more than 100 years of existence. The former vaudeville theater has been a performance venue, movie palace, special events space, and even a synagogue and shoe repair store.

In more recent years, Rogers Parkers have known the Morse as the Mayne Stage, a performance venue that opened in 2010 that was owned and operated by Tawani Enterprises, a Jennifer Pritzker company. Tawani Enterprises abruptly closed the Mayne Stage in 2016, announcing that it would henceforth be closed to the public and only rented out to private groups for special events. This was a blow to Morse Street and to the larger Rogers Park community which had gotten used to a steady stream of concerts and events at the Mayne Stage. With the closing of the venue, there was suddenly one less reason to venture over to Morse Street. Then came the pandemic, which made things even worse.

In 2021, Tawani sold the performance space along with the Act One Pub, the restaurant and bar that faces Morse Street, to Dr. Ricardo T. Rosenkranz, a professor at Northwestern University and a magician and illusionist.

After a few months of renovations and preparations, Dr. Rosenkranz and his business partner Tim Friedman celebrated the grand opening of the new performance venue on June 16th. The new Rhapsody Theater will bring magic shows, concerts and other community events back to Rogers Park. This opening provides a big boost to the Morse Street corridor which can look forward to more activity and foot traffic in what has arguably become the commercial and entertainment heart of the Rogers Park community. There are high hopes that the new activity will be synergistic, creating even more demand for restaurants, galleries and other attractions for Rogers Parkers and visitors.

For a preview of upcoming events, take a look at their website.




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