From John Phillip Sousa to rap-jazz fusion, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center has a rich cultural history
As the town of Great Barrington was expanding at the turn of the 20th century, local businessmen funded this now-historic building at the intersection of Castle and Main streets. Since 1904, the theater has hosted vaudeville acts, silent films and blockbuster movies.
After Great Barrington formed the Downtown Historic District in 1995 and saved it from being demolished, the theater underwent a $9 million renovation and was recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.
Scheduled for this summer were performances by Hot Tuna, the Brubeck Brothers quartet and Puddles, the opera-singing clown from “America’s Got Talent.” Many concerts and performances, including an appearance by Alan Cumming and Ari Shapiro, have been postponed until 2021, while others were fully cancelled. The first event scheduled in the theater is a new production of “Swan Lake” by the Russian Ballet Theater on Sept. 26.
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center