The Beach Times

Live on the Outer Cape: Music, Drama, and Comedy
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, May 14, 2018


When staying on Cape Cod for any length of time, consider taking in some of the local performing arts scenes, as there is something to check out on pretty much any night of the week during the summer. Depending on your mood, you might want to see a live performance of a Shakespearean drama, laugh with a stand-up comedian at an intimate local venue, or dine with live music in the background before getting up and cutting a rug after your meal.

All of these opportunities and more are available on the Outer Cape on any given day, providing you with loads of different ways to spend your evenings. Have a look at the events calendar at the following venues or check out some of the highlighted festivals to ensure you don’t miss a top-notch performance during your Cape Cod vacation.


Performances and Events in Provincetown

Since Provincetown is one of the Cape's cultural hubs, it makes sense that the town has plenty of live venues from which to choose. The Provincetown Theater is known as the Birthplace of Modern American Theater, as it dates back to 1915 when a group of New Yorkers vacationing in the area started performing and eventually built a makeshift theater. Their performances drew attention from all over the East Coast, helping to grow the industry as a whole. Today, the Provincetown Theater hosts Broadway comedies, dramas, and musicals, in addition to performing arts festivals throughout the year. If you're on the Outer Cape in the summer, there's a good chance this venue will have something going on.

Not to be outdone, the Peregrine Theatre Ensemble also brings Broadway plays and musicals to Provincetown, producing them at Fishermen Hall. In 2018, the group will perform “Hair, the Musical” between July and September.

Of course, there’s also the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, an annual event taking place each September. In 2017, the festival combined plays by Williams and William Shakespeare, while the theme in 2018 will be "Wishful Thinking". The performances take place at a variety of venues throughout town, even non-traditional venues, as 2017 saw "Hamlet" performed in a tank of water on the beach and "Pericles" performed on a boat.

Smaller music venues are found up and down Provincetown’s Commercial Street. Bubala’s By The Bay, for example, is where the town's West End begins and hosts live music every night during the summer. There is no cover or minimum charge, so you can get out and enjoy everything from jazz to country music without worrying about the cost. Governor Bradford Restaurant & Club is an all ages venue that features a different act every Saturday night. The music gets started at 8 PM and runs until about 11. Tin Pan Alley is a piano bar with live performances every night of the week.

The Provincetown Jazz Festival has been around since 2005 and brings musicians from all over the world to the area at a variety of different venues. If you're in the area in mid-August, it is well worth checking out at least a few performances.

The Crown & Anchor is well known throughout the Cape because of its cabaret shows, but this significant venue is also the home of comedy in Provincetown. Some performances will be local comedians, such as Julie Wheeler and James Judd, who have weekly performances from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Other times, the venue brings in better-known acts, like Bruce Vilanch and Leslie Jordan in 2018, for a couple of sets.
 

Events in Truro This Summer

Just a short drive down Route 6 from Provincetown is Truro, where there are even more live performances to attend. In North Truro, the Payomet Performing Arts Center hosts music, comedy, and theater starting in the spring, with some pretty big acts coming to town in the summer.

You’ll also find music at Truro Vineyards every Sunday throughout the summer. Admission to the show is free, and there's a food truck on-site, so you can have a meal, enjoy some local wine, and listen to a live performance. The vineyard also hosts Grape Stomp & Music Fest and the Vinegrass Music Festival in late September. Both of these festivals bring wine, cocktails, food, and music together and are a great way to end your summer on Cape Cod.
 

Music and Theater in Wellfleet

Continuing down Route 6 from Truro brings you to Wellfleet and, more specifically, the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. This venue presents a series of thought-provoking dramas all summer long, with each presentation running for a few weeks at a time. There's a summer concert series at the venue, too, so you can get your fill of live music on Monday nights.

The Harbor Stage Company is in the heart of Wellfleet's downtown area. The venue is small and intimate, offering the chance to get up close and personal with classic dramas and comedies that you've probably heard of before, but maybe haven't seen performed live. In 2018, "The Weir", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", and "The Deer and the Antelope" are on the docket between the middle of June and early September.

For live music, The Beachcomber is the place to be in Wellfleet. Throughout July and August, this restaurant on Cahoon Hollow Beach brings in musical acts every day of the week. You'll have to buy tickets in advance for most shows and keep in mind that the music usually starts at 9 PM, so you'll have time to either have dinner in the restaurant or eat elsewhere before things get going.


Orleans Live Performances

Finally, as you come down Route 6 and exit onto 6A, you'll reach the center of Orleans, where even more live performances can be found. The Academy Playhouse is right on Main Street and has a mixture renowned shows throughout the year. There are children's performances in the afternoons, including the Little Mermaid in 2018, and both theater, including Shakespeare, and music at night.

The Elements Theatre Company is on the grounds of the Church of the Transfiguration on Rock Harbor, giving it one of the more scenic locations for performances on the Cape. This venue mostly hosts dramatic productions, although there are retreats and workshops during the summer for those interested in acting themselves.

The Barley Neck Inn dates back to 1848 when Isaac and Mary Doane purchased the land where the property now sits. Part of the original building now makes up this venue, which hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night. It's not glamorous, but catching a performance at The Barley Neck is a quintessential thing to do while on Cape Cod.


Finding Your Performances

As you can see, no matter what type of entertainment you’re into, you’re sure to find it on the Outer Cape during the summer. Once you book your vacation rental on Cape Cod, start looking at the local venues holding events because you’re sure to find a new and exciting way to spend your nights, no matter what you are looking to experience.



Cape Cod Festivals Jazz Orleans Outer Cape Provincetown Theater Truro Wellfleet

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