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the Beautiful Berkshires

Performing Arts Venues
When the wealthy industrialists of the Gilded Age struck upon the Berkshires as an ideal locale for their magnificent summer retreats, their preferred forms of entertainment followed fast behind. The robber barons spent lavishly not only on their “cottages.” As patrons of the arts, they created and supported cultural venues, a legacy that continues to this day among well-to-do denizens. Several Berkshire theaters date back to the turn of the 20th century and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. While many of these stages have roots that extend through the decades to the age of vaudeville, Berkshire venues stay perpetually young, presenting world-class entertainment, from faithful revivals of beloved chestnuts to radical adaptation of classics, to new works and cutting-edge music, dance, theater, and performance art. Red Lion Inn guests will be pleased to learn that many Berkshire theaters have evolved from summer stages into year-round venues.

Fitzpatrick Main Stage, Berkshire Theatre Group

6 East Street, Stockbridge
ten-minute stroll from The Red Lion Inn
Open late spring through early autumn

Named for the proprietors of The Red Lion Inn, the Main Stage was designed and built in 1888 as the Stockbridge Casino, and has served as a summer playhouse since 1928, making it one of the oldest summer theater festivals in the United States. Actors from Broadway and Hollywood regularly grace the stage.

Unicorn Theater, Berkshire Theatre Group

6 East Street, Stockbridge
ten-minute stroll from The Red Lion Inn
Presenting year-round; limited schedule late autumn through spring

This smaller, more intimate theater, with nary a bad seat in the house – as well as the modern convenience of air conditioning – shares the same campus, and much of the same talent, as the Fitzpatrick Main Stage.


297 West Street, Lenox
ten minutes from The Red Lion Inn
Late June through early September

The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, established in the 1930s, is widely viewed as a premier destination for classical music performed by the world’s finest musicians and orchestras, led by esteemed conductors. Reserve sheltered seating in the Koussevitsky Shed or Seiji Ozawa Hall, or bring a picnic and enjoy music under the stars. Annual events such as the live recording of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, Movie Night with John Williams, and Tanglewood on Parade, along with regular appearances by James Taylor and other popular music acts, draw enthusiastic crowds.

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Shakespeare & Company

70 Kemble Street, Lenox
ten-minute drive from the Red Lion Inn
Presenting year-round; limited schedule autumn through spring

Dedicated to the works of William Shakespeare, this resident company also produces the work of prominent authors, from the Bard’s contemporaries to modern masters, on two stages. Shakespeare & Co. also presents new work by emerging playwrights, as well as author talks and free family-friendly performances on an outdoor stage throughout the summer.

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

14 Castle Street, Great Barrington
15-minute drive from The Red Lion Inn
Presenting year-round

This beautifully restored Gilded-Age hall presents a wide variety of entertainments, including dance, music of all genres, classic films, author events, and “Live in HD” screenings from the Metropolitan Opera House and London’s National Theatre and other special events. It is home to Berkshire Playwrights Lab, presenting theater works-in-progress throughout the summer, and Close Encounters with Music, presenting thematic chamber music recitals with top musicians from around the world.

Aston Magna Music Festival

Various locations in southern Berkshire County
15 minutes from The Red Lion Inn
June & July

Aston Magna, the longest continuously operating series of music performed on period instruments or historically accurate reproductions, focuses on work composed in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, ranging from the Renaissance to early Baroque periods. Most local performances are held in Great Barrington at the Daniel Arts Center.

South Mountain Concerts

740 South Street (Routes 7 and 20) , Pittsfield
15 minutes from The Red Lion Inn
September – early October

Chamber music recitals performed by some of the world’s finest ensembles fills this historic concert hall, which was built in 1918 of re-purposed timber from an old textile mill. The hall seats 440 and boasts magnificent acoustics.

The Colonial Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group

111 South Street, Pittsfield
20 minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Presenting year round; limited schedule autumn through spring

Audiences will find everything from family fare to adults-only comedians to stunningly staged classic musicals, plus all types of music, at this resplendent Gilded-Age jewel-box theatre. “The Garage,” a small stage in the lobby, hosts up-and-coming pop and folk music acts.

Barrington Stage Company

30 Union Street, Pittsfield
20-minute drive from the Red Lion Inn
Presenting year-round; limited schedule autumn through spring

Barrington Stage Company is known for its exuberant productions of classic Broadway musicals, as well as its in-progress presentations of new work by up-and-coming playwrites, composers, and lyricists under the guidance of Tony Award-winner William Finn. BSC also presents world premieres by award-winning playwright Mark St. Germain, many of which go on to Broadway or Off-Broadway runs. Stars of the musical theater realm occasionally crop up for an evening of song on the BSC schedule.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival

358 George Carter Road, Becket
25 minutes from The Red Lion Inn
Late June through August

The nation’s oldest summer dance festival brings acclaimed artists from around the world to dance on two barn-like stages on this historic, rural mountaintop campus. Families flock to free performances on an outdoor stage with a verdant valley as a backdrop.

Tannery Pond Concerts

Darrow Road, New Lebanon, NY
30 minutes from The Red Lion Inn
Late Spring through early Autumn

A historic Shaker tannery re-purposed as a concert hall provides an intimate, resonant performance space for this series of recitals by internationally acclaimed musicians.

Music & More in the Meeting House

154 Hartsville-New Marlborough Road (Route 57), New Marlborough
30 minutes from the Inn
Summer through fall

A seasonal series of chamber music recitals, author discussions and readings, films, and other performances, held in a historic, quintessential New England meetinghouse.

Chester Theatre Company

14 Middlefield Road, Chester
30 minutes from The Red Lion Inn
Presenting year round

This brief summer series of contemporary theater is committed to presenting thought-provoking, language-rich plays, including many world-premiere productions, in the town hall of the remote village of Chester.

Mac-Hayden Theatre

1925 New York 203, Chatham, NY
35 minutes from The Red Lion Inn
Late May through mid September

A summer series of everyone’s favorite musicals, presented in the round.

PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century

2980 Route 66, Chatham, NY
35 minutes from The Red Lion Inn

Enjoy theater, film, music, children’s programs, and dance – including participatory dance such as swing, salsa, and R&B – under an intimate clam shell tent, set amid an apple orchard.

Infinity Music Hall

20 Greenwoods Road West; Norfolk, Connecticut
40 minutes from The Red Lion Inn
Presenting year round

Enjoy live performances of popular music by contemporary artists, reunited rock bands, and tribute groups, as well as other genres in an intimate, lovingly renovated 1883 performance hall with onsite, casual dining available at the Bistro.

30 Main Street  Stockbridge, MA 01262
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