Get Enchanted

Thursday, February 14, 2008
Guitarist Matt Engle thrashed out while playing with Kavatica, of Memphis, Saturday, January 26, 2008, at the Enchanted Forest in Cape Girardeau. (Kit Doyle)

Since opening at 811 Broadway (above Cherokee Trails) in Cape Girardeau in 2003, the Enchanted Forest has become an all-ages hot spot thanks, in part, to the work of booking agents Chase Wright and John Thurman.

Today the Enchanted Forest is known for its underground touring acts and local bands like Fists of Phoenix and Thorlock.

But the location has seen its share of bands in the past.

Jim Brodtman was first to own the building in the 1920s, when it was called Ideal Hall. Brodtman had a restaurant on the first floor along with a dance hall upstairs. Many local jazz musicians of the time got their start at Ideal Hall, including the Agony Four, The Melody Kings and Jess Stacy. Later on a sporting goods shop would replace the restaurant. However, in the late 1930s the American Legion took over the upstairs area and continued the dance hall tradition of the space with performances from names like Chubby Checker.

The Enchanted Forest pulls great acts, but it's also known for the unusual environment. Although no alcohol or tobacco is allowed in the venue, any kind of music is. And it's also one of the least crowded spaces to hear a band, fitting 300 people.

Memphis-based Kavatica played to the crowd Saturday, January 26, 2008, at the Enchanted Forest in Cape Girardeau. (Kit Doyle)

The stage is at the front of the building. You can get some food and relax on the couches in the far end of the room, overlooking Broadway.

Check it out for yourself. Go to myspace.com/enchantedforest811 for more information and get out to the next show, whether you're 1 or 100.

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