Sports & Entertainment Nashville was at the groundbreaking of Ray Stevens’ new music and entertainment showcase, cleverly titled “CabaRay,” located on River Road off Charlotte Pike. CabaRay will be a 700-seat theatre featuring live music and entertainment in a Vegas-like showroom, with influences from the Grand Ole Opry and lower Broadway, bringing along local talent and many of Stevens’ friends. “This will hopefully be another tourist destination that’ll be a combination of those two types of venues,” Stevens described. “I’m really excited because I’ve wanted to build something like this for a long time. This is a labor of love for me.”
Having been in the business since he was 15 years old, this is just another feather in Stevens’ cap to add to his already versatile career. Along with offering food and drink for patrons to enjoy during the show, the theatre will also boast memorabilia from Stevens’ expansive career. Though he’s performed in numerous locations and venues across the country, the singer says that at the top of the list of his favorites places to perform is none other than a Las Vegas showroom, the inspiration behind CabaRay. “You really felt close to the audience, so I’ve tried to design – with the help of some architects – a room that felt like that,” he said. “And I think the CabaRay will fill the bill.”
Though Stevens and his team are still in the beginning stages of the project, he knows that the quality of sound in the venue will be premiere, utilizing the expertise of acoustic engineer Steve Durr (his past clients include everyone from Dreamworks Studios to Willie Nelson), and building areas on the stage that can accompany a large orchestra that allow for strings, brass, harps and much more.
When asked how the show will be unique from others in Nashville, Stevens said he is still in the preliminary process of creating the show – but he knows it will be a stand out once completed, with a projected date of spring 2017. “I have a concept in my head,” he said. “I think it will be [unique and different] – I just can’t put it into words.” Along with setting himself apart from the crowd, CabaRay will be all about having fun for both audience members and Stevens alike. “I just think people are going to really enjoy themselves here,” he said. “I’m going to have a lot of fun.”