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11 Can’t-Miss Theaters and Live Performances in the Lakes Region

July 28, 2023

Yes, the warmer months in the Lakes Region are prime time for outdoor activities, but sometimes, sneaking off indoors can offer a much-needed reprieve from the sun – and just as many fun things to do.

Thankfully, there are plenty of theaters to visit, shows to see, and live music to experience in the area. Although the region is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and serene lakes, it also boasts a myriad of indoor entertainment options, from live theater to musical performances. From cozy theaters hosting live performances to lively nightclubs near Weirs Beach, the Lakes Region boasts an array of activities perfect for rainy days or when you just want to unwind indoors. Now is the ideal time to fill up the rest of your summer schedule. Here are 11 places in the Lakes Region to check out for a dose of entertainment.

Local Theaters

1. The Cake theatre

Newly renovated, The Cake Theatre in Laconia is dedicated to providing immersive theatrical experiences for audiences of all ages. This Las Vegas-inspired, welcoming venue knows how to put on a show. The Cake Theatre is home to Recycled Percussion – a high-energy, captivating, and truly one-of-a-kind group of entertainers that fuses music, percussion, comedy, and audience participation, all tied together with an extraordinary array of repurposed instruments. The band’s ability to transform everyday items into musical instruments that create rhythmic, heart-pounding beats is nothing short of mesmerizing. With their infectious energy and engaging presence, Recycled Percussion delivers an unforgettable experience you won’t soon forget. Plan your visit to The Cake Theatre here.

2. Capitol Center for the Arts

This state-of-the-art theater has it all – including concerts by renowned musicians, Broadway musicals, comedy shows, dance performances, and captivating theatrical productions. Fans of classic performances, contemporary acts, or family-friendly shows will have no problem finding something on the calendar that suits their taste. This season, check out classics like Newsies, JR., Into the Woods, or Sleeping Beauty, or listen to live music from Dueling Pianos and a number of local musicians. With its impressive lineup of year-round events and commitment to showcasing top-notch talent, Capitol Center for the Arts continues to be a vibrant center for arts and culture in New Hampshire. Check out the full schedule and purchase tickets online.

3. Colonial Theatre

The Colonial Theatre is a recently renovated, historic venue that exudes a sense of timeless elegance, thanks to its long-standing history that dates back to 1914. Its beautifully preserved architecture and rich heritage create an enchanting atmosphere for attendees. The theater offers a mix of classic and contemporary shows, from live performances featuring renowned musicians, comedians, and actors to screenings of classic films and special events suitable for all ages. See a live performance of The Sound of Music, take a step back in time and hear iconic sixties sounds at The Sixties Show, or support a local cause at the Franklin Animal Shelter Comedy Night. Find more information and purchase tickets online.

4. Flying Monkey

The Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center is a vibrant entertainment venue in Plymouth. Housed in a beautifully renovated historic building, the theater blends old-world charm and modern appeal. The calendar at The Flying Monkey is packed with live concerts by local bands and artists, comedy performances, film screenings, and special events. With its intimate setting and exceptional acoustics, the theater provides an immersive experience for performers and audiences. Events on deck include the iconic AXIS 80’s party featuring covers of the best of the best from the era of 80’s rock and pop and “My Best Girl” – a classic silent film with live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis. Learn more about Flying Monkey and purchase tickets online.

5. Interlakes Summer Theatre

The Interlakes Summer Theatre in Meredith is set against the lush, scenic backdrop of the Lakes Region. The theater presents a diverse lineup of shows, including Broadway musicals, beloved classics, and contemporary performances, all brought to life by a talented cast and crew. Guests can enjoy a truly engaging theatrical night with its intimate setting and audience-friendly atmosphere. The seasons include a balance of traditional and contemporary musicals, including Fiddler on the Roof, Kinky Boots, and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Discover more information and see upcoming events here.

6. Lakeport Opera House

Originally founded in 1882, Lakeport Opera House recently reopened its doors after a decade-long closure. This historic venue has undergone a stunning transformation, meticulously preserving its original features on the upper levels while infusing it with contemporary design elements. The result is a truly striking space ready to host live events, from bands and musicals to plays and so much more. This season, catch a Classic Rock Experience, attend a tribute to Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, or spend a night listening to blues and sipping bourbon. Check out the full schedule here and plan your next visit. 

7. Winnipesaukee Playhouse

This popular local playhouse is situated on 11 expansive acres of property. It provides entertainment, education, summer camp, after-school classes, a supportive community environment, and a youth theater. This season, watch a performance of classics like Corduroy and Fiddler on the Roof or book your seat at a holiday classic – Miracle on 34th Street. Discover even more shows and learn about the theater here

Other Entertainment

8. Boardwalk Bar and Grill

This laidback, dog-friendly dining spot comes to life in the warmer months, thanks to its live music, beachy setting, and bustling atmosphere. The outdoor deck is complete with table seating, a large, granite-topped bar, and a stage for performances from local artists. This summer, listen to tunes from musicians like Jack Ancora, The Lone Wolf Project, and Bryan Conway. You can even get 15 minutes of fame yourself when you take center stage at karaoke on Monday nights. Select one of the specialty cocktails like the “cherry pie,” made with tequila, cherry liquor, and lime, or a draft beer to sip on while enjoying the show and the scene. See the schedule and browse the food and beverage menu here

9. Big House Nightclub

Right across the street from Weirs Beach, Big House Nightclub is the region’s newest nightclub that offers a casual beachfront environment with delicious drinks and some of the best live entertainment in the Lakes Region. This high-energy club features sounds from local artists ranging from hard rock to acoustic to the top DJs in New England. It’s the only bar open until 2 a.m. in Laconia, so you don’t have to end your night before you’re ready to. See what’s on the schedule here.

10. Hermit Woods – The Loft

Every Thursday night, the Loft above Hermit Woods Winery showcases a variety of musical performances, including jazz, folk, blues, and R&B, to name a few. The audience is encouraged to remain quiet while the artists perform, making these shows an even more immersive experience. Known for its twice-weekly piano nights on Friday and Saturday evenings, the Loft has become a staple in Meredith for locals and visitors alike. While you’re there, order a glass or two of Hermit Woods’ artisanal wine selection made right there in-house. Explore more upcoming events at The Loft.

11. Giuseppe’s

Giuseppe’s is a well-loved Italian restaurant in Meredith that hosts live entertainment throughout the week. Known for its delicious cuisine and warm, welcoming atmosphere, Giuseppe’s offers a delightful dining experience the entire family will enjoy. Beyond the establishment’s  mouthwatering dishes, Giuseppe’s also hosts live entertainment, adding to the vibrant ambiance. Guests can enjoy evenings filled with musical performances, ranging from musical performances from both locals and out-of-town talents, making Giuseppe’s a go-to spot for a good meal and a show in the Lakes Region. See what’s on the schedule here.

To discover even more enticing entertainment in the Lakes Region, check out our events page. We’ve got your summer plans covered. 

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