Dan Cashman of “The Nite Show” on WABI-TV saw how much room he and his crew had to play with when they did a three-show stand at the Bangor Opera House last November. Going into his fourth year as host of the Bangor-based late night talk show, he knew it was time to think about expanding a little bit from the intimate setting of the Next Generation Theater in Brewer, where the show has taped since it started in Oct. 2010.
So when staff at the New England School of Communications approached Cashman about moving his show from Brewer to Husson’s Gracie Theatre, he took them up on their offer.
“It’s a little scary, because it’s a 500 person theater and Next Generation sat about 100,” said Cashman. “But the more I think about it, the more I realize how many more possibilities there are with the space and the technology that NESCOM has at their disposal. We can take it to the next level.”
Cashman’s not moving out of Brewer right away — they plan to tape at the Next Generation Theatre through the spring and summer, and are aiming for a fall start date for filming at the Gracie.
“Next Gen has been a wonderful home for us, and it’s very safe and familiar for us,” said Cashman. “At the Gracie, though, we can do so much backstage, we can have bigger bands, and there’s fiber wire running throughout the place, so we can take a camera out on the baseball field or the pool or elsewhere. And we’re going to have a big new set.”
The new set is being designed by Brave Williams, who teaches at NESCOM and whose set designs have been seen in a number of Gracie productions. It will allow for the Jump City Jazz Band, the house band for the show, to expand to a full eight pieces, and it will allow for a flyaway wall to zoom in and out to reveal a bigger backdrop of the city of Bangor.
“I’ve been watching Jimmy Fallon’s transition into hosting ‘The Tonight Show,’ and while I of course know we’re not in the same league as him, it has increased our level of excitement, watching him do it,” said Cashman. “We’re incredibly excited.”
“The Nite Show” airs at 11:30 p.m. Saturdays on WABI-TV in Bangor, WPXT-TV in Portland, and WAGM Fox 8 in Presque Isle.