The way we post about all of the highlights of Tanglewood, you’d think the Berkshires are a one-event kind of place, but there’s much more to the Berkshires than JUST a certain fabulous internationally-renowned music festival.
Coming to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 26, Cirque Shanghai brings their breathtaking acrobatic artistry to the Berkshires for your viewing enjoyment. The Chinese acrobatics tradition is an old one, dating back to the Han Dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago. “Bai xi,” or “100 amazing acts,” was the first name for these performance spectacles, and the performers were thought to have limitless talents, because they knew so many tricks. Classic feats are curated into a modern production that should prove genuinely amazing and highly entertaining. The scenery, the costumes, and of course the acrobatics, are designed to delight.
And then there’s the Mahaiwe itself – a treasure left from the days of vaudeville, it was built in 1905 and is one of the oldest surviving theaters in the country. Like many of its era, once the golden days of vaudeville came to a close, the Mahaiwe was repurposed, transformed into a movie theater in 1930. It was reborn as a performing arts center in the modern sense, in 2002, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A unique and fascinating show in a unique and historical theater, in the world-famous Berkshires.
We’re delighted to see a Berkshires gem included in Smithsonian Magazine’s recent 20 Best Small Towns in America list. The featured town: Great Barrington, MA, just 20-ish minutes from our lovely Lenox.
Great Barrington is rich in history, amenities, and quirk. It’s the former home of both Arlo Guthrie and Alice, yes that Alice, of “Alice’s Restaurant” fame. It’s the current home of BerkShares Bills, an alternative currency created (and used by around 400 businesses in the area) to encourage people to support local businesses. Read more about it here.
Local food is also a way of life here, and the local food co-op and farmers’ markets are well-loved and interesting food in general is plentiful: Though its size is modest, Great Barrington is home to over 55 restaurants.
It is also home to the Mahaiwe Theater, once as vaudeville house, now a performing arts center. The Mahaiwe is ripe with variety in its lineup of shows. Upcoming shows include broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera, classic films, dance, music, comedy and family shows.
Great Barrington is a great destination to add to your itinerary on your Berkshires getaway.
Those following news about the Berkshires know that National Geographic Traveler recently rated us one of the Top Ten Destinations in the world! Of course, having a world-class summer season of theater, dance and music is part of the package. But if the place completely dried up the rest of the year, I do not believe we would have received this recognition.
Thanks to recent renovations of the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield and the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington, great performances are available to local audiences, and off-season visitors all year. Just over the next several weeks, the Mahaiwe is featuring a showing of Paul Newman’s Cool Hand Luke, the Metropolitan Opera presents an HD broadcast of "Hamlet," David Bromberg is in town to showcase his folk, blues and bluegrass innovations. Finally, local favorite Shawn Colvin is here April 16th.
The Colonial Theatre has Roger McGuinn and Tom Rush this weekend, as well as nine other presentations in the next 30 days. And this is April! The offerings include speakers, lecturers, music, and even Beatlemania.
Hampton Terrace is located about 15 minutes from each venue. Let us help you plan a great Berkshire weekend, including an experience at one of our beautifully renovated venues.