Providence Phoenix 35th Anniversary - TONIGHT at Lupo's

So, in case you haven’t seen our tweets, Facebook posts, print ads, online ads, radio spots, and articles on the subject (we’re normally quite shy, we swear), the Providence Phoenix turns 35 years old this year, and tonight - Thursday, November 21, 2013 - we’re throwing a party at Lupo’s at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate. All are welcome to this FREE shindig, which will include food from Wes’s Rib House (among other local joints); beer from the Revival Brewing Co.; tunes from Mark Cutler, the ‘Mericans, ASS20 Youth’s ZuKrewe, and others; and various other cool stuff that you're just going to have to come and see for yourself. In case all of that wasn't enough of a draw, as our editorial intern Harrison Connery reports, the evening will also include a special performance/presentation by our friends at the Big Nazo Lab.

On Tuesday, November 19, 2013 I visited the Big Nazo Lab in downtown Providence and talked to its founder, Erminio Pinque, about the “phoenix” specially commissioned for the Providence Phoenix’s 35th anniversary party.

The costume itself is around five feet tall, but will appear even larger on stage, as the performer will wear the bird over his body and peer out from the see-through black fabric near the bottom. This performer will be strapped into a modified hiking backpack underneath the black and red cloth that makes up the bird’s body; a wooden structure runs in a t-shape throughout the bird’s body, extending up and forward to support the head for added support. Handlebars inside the cloth allow the performer to pivot the costume. Appropriately, the Big Nazo team cannibalized an old vulture costume to create certain pieces of the phoenix - a nod to the bird’s reputation for re-birth.

“What is the Providence Phoenix?” Pinque said during our meeting. “We envisioned it as a ‘defrosted’ remnant of a prehistoric era. I love the idea that he was dredged out of a Providence pond or found wandering an abandoned parking lot in Woonsocket.”

“He’ll be introduced like King Kong,” he continued. “He will appear captured, like property of the Phoenix.”

As he spoke, he showed me the foam “P” that will symbolize the paper’s ownership of the bird. For the sake of the show, I won’t give away details of the performance. But the King Kong reference likely points to a violent twist on stage Thursday night.

For more details about the party, head here.

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