Berks County is known for many things—a robust restaurant scene, an amazing small business community, architecture as beautiful as the lush rolling hills that surround the county, and a thriving artistic community. From Berks Jazz Fest to annual art festivals to community theatre and beyond, there is always something that will entertain even the most discerning creative soul in Berks County—and The Miller Center for the Arts is at the forefront of the arts and entertainment scene.
Located at 4 North 2nd Street in Reading, The Miller Center is located on the grounds of Reading Area Community College. General Manager Megan Schappell shared that it is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to bringing theatrical performances to Berks County that will truly interest the community.
“We have a little of everything [on our event schedules],” shared Ms. Schappell, noting that the events on The Miller Center’s calendar range from family-friendly shows and exhibits, to entertainment for adults. “As a staff of four, we have meetings every other week to decide on our programming.”
She also noted that the facility can be used as a rental for private showings and screenings. The holiday season can often be the most magical time of year to visit the theatre, and The Miller Center currently has several scheduled performances that are sure to delight theatre lovers of all ages.
On Friday, November 10 at 7:30 PM, The Miller Center will present John Mueller’s 1950’s Winter Dance Party, where audiences can experience a nostalgic trip down holiday memory lane. According to millercenter.racc.edu, “John Mueller’s “Winter Dance Party” is the official live and authentic re-creation of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper’s final tour, and the only show endorsed by the Holly, Valens and Richardson estates.
Each live concert performance includes over two hours of unbridled, high voltage entertainment featuring all the hit songs of the 50’s era: That’ll Be the Day, Peggy Sue, Oh, Boy, Rave on, La Bamba, Chantilly Lace, and many, many more. John Mueller, the critically acclaimed former star of the U.S. touring version of the London/Broadway hit musical Buddy…the Buddy Holly Story, performs as Buddy Holly, and Linwood Sasser fills the legendary footsteps of the Big Bopper.
Ray Anthony performs as Ritchie Valens, and is a renowned star of the “Legends of Rock and Roll” show at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. The very authentic and energetic four piece band (guitar, drums, standup bass and sax) includes Grammy award winning Mike Acosta on saxophone. (source: https://millercenter.racc.edu/winter-dance-party).
On Wednesday, December 13th (with performances at 2 PM and 7 PM), audiences can experience the magic of an Irish Christmas via Christmas in Killarney: An Irish Christmas Celebration. Per The Miller Center’s website, “[Experience] traditional Christmas classics and world-class Irish dancing! Come and join us in the old village of Killarney in Ireland for an evening of Irish traditions and your favorite Christmas songs! Watch Irish dancers leap through the air and tap their feet while you enjoy the music and harmonies of the season. See what it means to celebrate Christmas the “Irish” way – where some of the most iconic Christmas traditions originated!” (source: https://millercenter.racc.edu/christmas-killarney)
The fun doesn’t stop after the holidays either: On March 15, 2024, at 7:30 PM, The Miller Center will present Magical Mystery Doors: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and The Beatles(featuring multiple musicians who are Reading natives, including members of Go Go Gadget, an immensely popular local band years ago). Per their website, “Magical Mystery Doors is a tribute act that blends and layers the music of three legendary bands to create something new and unique for music fans everywhere.
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Doors have changed the face of music as we know it, and their songs have become part of our history. Their melodies have moved people everywhere to “Come Together” in their love of music. Patrons attending a Magical Mystery Doors performance can expect to hear timeless tunes from each of these historic bands over the course of the night.
The songs you know, the songs you love, the songs you sing at the top of your lungs! Magical Mystery Doors also enhances the audience experience with a captivating visual presentation. Modern video screens and a stunning array of lighting allow this act to create an environment where the music comes to life. Fans young and old can “Break On Through” their daily distractions in this immersive and mesmerizing show (source: https://millercenter.racc.edu/magical-mystery-doors).
The highlighted shows above are merely a sample of the engaging presentations that are currently scheduled at The Miller Center for the Arts. Visit https://millercenter.racc.edu/ for more information, to book your tickets, and to experience some of the best in arts and entertainment that Berks County has to offer!