31 Days of Nashville – Theatres

18 - Theatres

Nashville is home to numerous theatres (and theaters), both performing arts and the big screen. The majority of our big screen theaters are fairly standard like you’ll find in most cities where you can catch Hollywood’s latest film, so I would like to introduce you to a few alternatives in the Nashville area.

Belcourt Theatre

The Belcourt Theatre is in the heart of Hillsboro Village and has been through several changes and renovations since it opened in 1925. The Belcourt is a “nonprofit cultural institution dedicated to presenting the best of independent, documentary, world, repertory and classic cinema.”* The Belcourt is where you go to see the annual showing of It’s A Wonderful Life every year in December, as well as Hitchcock movies at least once a year. It’s also where you go for smaller films that the large theaters aren’t carrying. The venue can also be rented for concerts for musicians. You can also catch films that are part of the Sundance Film Festival every year. October 31-November 2, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is playing as part of their Midnight Movies event.

 

Lakewood Theatre Co.

In the small town near Old Hickory where locals know not to speed, The Lakewood Theatre Co has held performances since 1983. The theatre is small enough so that you really feel part of the production you’re watching. My mom and I have been season ticket holders several years in the past, and it was well worth the commitment. When my brother was younger, he was part of their summer workshop for kids and participated in a few plays after that. The theatre company just wrapped up their production of The Beverly Hillbillies last week, and their next production of Charlotte’s Web (which happens to be my most favorite childhood book) runs from November 29th to December 15th.

 

Nashville Children’s Theatre

I have so many great memories of going to the Nashville Children’s Theatre during school field trips in elementary school. My friend, Liberty, with the awesome memory can probably remember all of the plays we saw there, but I’m pretty sure that I remember seeing Charlotte’s Web and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe there. I am pretty sure that my love of live theatre began all those years ago. I took my Little Sister there a couple of years ago to see a juggling performance, and the place had changed quite a bit from what I remember as a child, but it’s still an awesome venue to introduce children to the wonderful imagination behind acting. If you’re a child of the 70’s and 80’s, you’ll probably enjoy their current production of Schoolhouse Rock.

 

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (aka TPAC) is home to Nashville’s larger theatres where you can see Broadway shows and other popular performing arts. The Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera and Teneessee Repertory Theatre also perform at TPAC. I have seen countless productions at TPAC over the years and love getting dressed up to see a performance downtown…you know, like an adult. Just to name a few, I’ve seen Cats, Miss Saigon, Annie (my favorite!), Wicked and To Kill a Mockingbird at TPAC, and they have all been awesome productions. The Nutcracker is performed most every year around Christmas, and it looks like another favorite of mine, A Christmas Story, will be playing from November 29th to December 22nd.

This post is part of a series I am writing, 31 Days of Nashville, where I am introducing several awesome places that make Nashville a great place to live and visit. Each day of the week has a different theme, and I am trying to focus on those hidden gems that aren’t as well known but just as worthy. 

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31 Days of Nashville – Shrine Circus

11 - Shrine Circus

The Al Menah Shrine Circus is in town this weekend! I have SO MANY awesome memories of going to the circus as far back as my memory goes. My Dad has been a Shriner for more than 30 years, so it was an annual tradition for us to go to the circus almost every year.  Even as an adult, the kid in me comes out when I attend the circus.

My favorite acts are usually any act that involves dogs and the silly and kooky clown antics between the main acts. Some people are frightened of clowns, but not me! There’s almost always at least one death-defying act toward the end, often involving human cannons or motorcycles high in the air. And don’t forget the high wire and trapeze acts!

As a kid, I always seemed to talk my parents into getting me some sort of toy that lights up, because I wouldn’t dare miss the “winky blinky light show” where they turn out all the lights, and we get to show off our new toy to everyone around. More than 30 years later, they still do this, and it’s still pretty awesome for me, though I have only been an observer and not a participant for the last several years.

Unfortunately, other plans are keeping us from attending this year, but hopefully we’ll be able to attend next year. The circus is in town through Sunday, with one show Friday night, three shows on Saturday, and two shows on Sunday. If you’ve never been to the circus, what are you waiting for?

Al Menah Shrine Circus
Municipal Auditorium
417 Fourth Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee 37201

This post is part of a series I am writing, 31 Days of Nashville, where I am introducing several awesome places that make Nashville a great place to live and visit. Each day of the week has a different theme, and I am trying to focus on those hidden gems that aren’t as well known but just as worthy. 

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31 Days of Nashville – Festivals

4 - Festivals

I don’t know about other cities, but it seems like there’s a festival of some sort in or around Nashville most weekends. With the weather being the most predictable around this time of year, several outdoor festivals are planned.

TACA Festival
This past weekend was the annual TACA Fall Craft Fair featuring the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists showing us all of the hard work and talent they put into their craft and art. I’ve been several years, and I think it gets bigger each time I attend. There is something there for just about everyone, and it’s quite the experience to see the variety of artists we have in the state who gather in Centennial Park.

Made in Nashville Festival
A couple of weekends ago, the 2nd Annual Made in Nashville Festival, also in Centennial Park. This festival was a bit smaller but featured only local artisans, whether their art be music, food or craft. Small didn’t necessarily mean that it wasn’t worth the time, because I love that it was small. Nashville has this sort of small feel considering it’s the state’s capital. The best part was being introduced to so many local companies that I can now support by purchasing local.

Oktoberfest
Also this month is Oktoberfest. I’m pretty sure that most cities with German residents has an Oktoberfest of some sort, and Nashville is no exception. This year is the 34th year for the event, and I can remember going as a kid. Oktoberfest in Nashville features live music, lots of German foods, tours of the historic churches in the Germantown neighborhood, and vendors. It’s also proud to be the city’s longest running cultural festival.

Celebrate Nashville Cultural Celebration
Speaking of cultural festivals, October is also when the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Celebration is held. Nashville seems to be a place that people just love to make home, so every year we come together and celebrate that diversity with performances, traditional food and many MANY crafts. This festival is also in Centennial Park, which just goes to show how lucky we are to have a park to house many events throughout the fall and the rest of the year.

Barktoberfest
Last but not least, I wanted to mention Barktoberfest. I have to admit that I have never been, and I won’t be able to attend this year because it’s the day after my Maggie’s “lady surgery,” but as a Dog Mom, I’m excited to see more and more events offered for those of us with fur kids. It looks like it will be a fun event, and I hope to be able to go next year!

Now Playing Nashville
I’ve focused mostly on the events going on this time of the year, but Now Playing Nashville is the best place to check to see what might be happening when you’re in Nashville any time of the year.

Have you been to any of the festivals I’ve listed? How about other festivals in Nashville?

This post is part of a series I am writing, 31 Days of Nashville, where I am introducing several awesome places that make Nashville a great place to live and visit. Each day of the week has a different theme, and I am trying to focus on those hidden gems that aren’t as well known but just as worthy. 

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Read other 31 Days of Nashville posts

Subscribe by Email, Join me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter