By John Chambless
When The Flash in Kennett Square opens its doors on Sept. 6 after a summer break, some changes will be visible, like the new paint and tables, but it's the new direction for the venue that is really exciting for the team that's taking the reins.
Dennis Melton is one of the people behind what's being called "The Flash, Act II." He's a local architect and longtime musician, and was on the original creative team for The Flash. As the new president of the group, he is joined by Matthew Grieco of Kuzo and Grieco Funeral Home, who is a past president of Historic Kennett Square, and will serve as vice-president. Rounding out the team is Lee Zagorski, a member of the original creative team, who will be serving as director of The Flash, as well as board member Lauressa McNemar.
Last week, Melton said that, "When people arrive on the September opening night, they will notice all new, fresh colors everywhere, striking artwork on the walls and new tables. As they look to the Flash Cafe, they will see that the menu has many choices not offered before.
"People will notice that the things they like about The Flash have not changed, but only gotten better," Melton said, listing "concerts every Friday and Saturday night, Open Mic Night, a cozy, intimate concert venue, candles on the tables, BYOB. The future vision is for The Flash to grow into the Kennett Arts & Culture Center, with performing arts -- music, theater and comedy -- visual arts, and culinary arts, including a focus on community events and youth programs."
In short, the vision is to make The Flash what it was -- only better. The 100-seat venue, which was nurtured for four years by Historic Kennett Square, is now being run by a non-profit group whose leaders are more focused on managing the club and expanding its reach.
"For its first four years, The Flash concept of an intimate performance venue of mostly music, BYOB, limited food menu, state-of-the-art sound and lighting has been very successful under the auspices of Historic Kennett Square," Melton said. "However, from its inception, the intent has always been to create a non-profit separate from Historic Kennett Square and expand the use of the facility to include visual as well as performing arts, promote more community use and introduce the art education component that was part of the original vision for the facility."
Melton said the new team envisions opening up the venue to corporate groups during the day and on select evenings to bring in more income. There will also be more community use of The Flash, possibly for library programs, community arts organizations, or schools.
The fall season is a busy one for the new Flash, with new shows being added each week. The schedule includes:
Sept. 6: The Melton Brothers with Bob Beach and John Lilley
Sept. 7: Chris Bruni with Geri Smith
Sept. 13: Beaucoup Blue with Deb Callahan
Sept. 14: Dukes of Destiny dance party
Sept. 20: An Evening With Mark Unruh and Friends
Sept. 21: A Night With Elvis: Bob Lougheed and The Mystery Train
Sept. 27: John Eddie (7 and 10 p.m.)
Sept. 28: Dan May with The Calabrese Sisters
Sept. 29: Lori Citro CD release party (3 to 5 p.m.)
Oct. 4: Ben Arnold with Born Sisters
Oct. 5: The Amish Comic with Better Than Bacon
Oct. 11: John Grecia with Universal Funk Order
Oct. 12: The Chuck Anderson Trio with Paul Cullen
Oct. 13: Scott Birney hosts the WVUD Open Mic Showcase
Oct. 18: Lucy Kaplansky with Geri Smith
Oct. 19: Sharon Little with E.B. Hawkins and Graham Brown
Oct. 25: Porkroll Project with Georgie Bonds
Oct. 26: Sin City Band with Spinto Band
Oct. 27: Steve Pullara Cool Beans Family Show for Halloween (3 to 5 p.m.)
Nov. 1: Dan Orlando “The Beatles and the Beach”
Nov. 2: Mason Porter with Steve Pepper and Friends
Nov. 7: Billy Burger CD release party with Cliff Hillis (7:30 to 9:30 p.m.)
Nov. 8: The Kennedys with J.D. Malone
Nov. 9: Johnny A
Nov. 16: Night of Comedy featuring Todd Chapelle, Hot Breakfast and Dave & Brian
Nov. 22: Josh Komorowski and the Sons of Thunder with Scott Sax
Nov. 23: The Robert Eric Band's Billy Joel tribute concert and dance party
The Kennett Flash is at 102 Sycamore Alley in Kennett Square. For tickets and more information, visit www.kennettflash.org, or call 484-732-8295.