Many may remember spending Saturday afternoons at the Mohawk, eating popcorn and candy, and maybe sneaking a smooch from a date.
Well, those days may be closer to returning than previously thought, as the Mohawk will be opening its doors once again, well, minus the toilets for this one.
In the midst of its reconstruction, the Mohawk will remember one of its final concerts as the spirit of Johnny Cash returns to Main Street Saturday, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m., to raise funds for the reopening.
Why Johnny Cash?
One of the final concerts at the North Adams’ former movie palace was Cash in February of 1988. Supported by MCLA and presented by the city of North Adams with technical production support from Mass MoCA, the celebrated Mohawk Theater opens for one night only with Harold Ford as Johnny Cash and Laura Lucy as June Carter Cash plus a full complement of musicians forming the Cash Band. In what is sure to become a historic Berkshire event Johnny and June’s greatest hits will illuminate the downtown scene in a concert to jointly benefit the Mohawk Theater Restoration Fund and the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of The Mohawk Theater, which opened its doors on Main Street in North Adams in 1938. Although the Mohawk closed its doors in 1991, it remains the last large single screen theater in north Berkshire County.
"To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Mohawk Theater, this fundraiser provides a wonderful opportunity to come together to support this project, hear great music, and see the underlying structure of this great building. We’re pleased to team up with Williamstown Rural Land Foundation on what promises to be a fun evening," Mayor Dick Alcombright said.
Only 600 tickets will be available for the event. In addition to general seating and standing-room-only tickets, the public will have the option to purchase a very limited number of VIP tickets, for $75 each (a nod to the anniversary year). VIP tickets will include an invitation to a cocktail reception at Gallery 107, 107 Main Street, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., reserved VIP seating, and a gift bag that will include Mohawk-Theater inspired items.
Ford’s voice and physical resemblance to Johnny Cash are striking, making him a natural Cash tribute artist. The Cash Band, composed of Sten Isachsen, Peter Maine, Mitch Throops, and Les Wheller, strives to recreate the authentic sound of The Tennessee Three from Johnny’s later years.
Williamstown resident Joe Lowe conceived and sponsored this idea after attending a Spirit of Johnny Cash concert last fall. Working with Alcombright and Mass MoCA’s Joe Thompson, the concert should augment the joys of the Fall Foliage Festival.
"Close your eyes and listen to the music," Lowe sadi. "You’ll be transported to the days of the original Johnny Cash concert in the Mohawk, nearly 25 years ago."
Tickets for the event are $75 for special VIP seating, $29 for general admission seats, $19 for general admission standing room, and $12 for student standing room. Tickets are available through the Mass MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams, open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours, or purchased online at www.massmoca.org.
Again, please note that the Mohawk is in the midst of re-construction - there are no toilets, though nearby portalets will be available.