Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Jumpin' Jupiter, a "Neo-Supper Club" with Las Vegas-Style Entertainment, Opening in Maplewood

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 10:00 AM

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A venue with an ambitious take on entertainment is slated to open in the spot last occupied by the now-closed Maplewood branch of the Jive & Wail (7376 Manchester Road, Maplewood). Called the Jumpin' Jupiter, it's being dubbed a "neo-supper club" by its owner, Jim Callahan.

"We specialize in unique, Las Vegas-style entertainment, everything from variety acts to circus acts to, like, classy burlesque," he says via phone from Colorado, where he was purchasing some kitchen equipment for the venue.

The Jumpin' Jupiter's main attraction indeed will be a Friday and Saturday night supper show, which will feature a cocktail hour, a five-course meal and a two-hour variety show. Preliminary pricing for the ticketed event is $59.95 a person, with drinks extra. Callahan stresses that it's not what you might expect from traditional dinner theater.

"If you say dinner theater, it sounds like you're attracting sixty year olds and up," he says, and adds, "The difference is at any given time, it'll never feel stuffy, it won't feel like a place that you feel uncomfortable or have to necessarily behave in."

Indeed, while the show itself will change monthly, the basic premise will remain focused on theatrical, stylish entertainment.

"We'll have a variety of acts that'll come in - jugglers and fire eaters and circus acts and dancers and comedians and magicians," he explains. "But they'll be done in a more hip, cool, edgy way for a new generation, as opposed to something from the '70s or something." He laughs. "Las Vegas is doing really cool stuff now that's really edgy, and it's fun."

The supper show will also feature a "six- or seven-piece" live band that Callahan says will be "extremely versatile" in what it performs. "One moment you might hear an accordion with a violin arrangement, the next one you might hear a big-band swing thing," he says. "Because of the nature of the show, it's going to call for a lot of those kind of things."

Israel Rodriguez (a.k.a. Chef Izzy), who was recently at the now-shuttered SLeeK at Lumiere Place, is the one tasked with "custom-design[ing] a meal around the theme of the show," Callahan says. "Right now we're going with a neutral theme, but we may later go on with a gourmet barbecue or we might go with an Indian flavor or we might go with an Asian motif, where the show reflects it in a kitschy kind of manner."

Callahan notes that local burlesque performer Lola Van Ella is helping the venue "custom-design" shows and book some of the talent. The Jumpin' Jupiter performers will also be local, at least at first - although he says they might be recruiting regional and national performers as the venue progresses.

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