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“107 year old Venue encapsulates the soul of every past performance!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Mainstay

The Mainstay
Ranked #2 of 18 things to do in Rock Hall
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Mainstay is a storefront nonprofit performing arts center on Rock Hall's down home Main Street. We are dedicated to presenting local, regional, national and international talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Our intimate listening room seats 120. We do 50 to 60 shows a year. Performances are listed on our website and you can subscribe to our email list there.
Marathon, Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“107 year old Venue encapsulates the soul of every past performance!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2012

The Mainstay housed in a building that has witnessed 107 years of Eastern Shore history on Main Street in Rock Hall is a treasure supported by art conscious residents, headed up by the well loved local character, Tom McHugh, that attracts a variety of performing artists. Looking just at the building from the outside, history catches your eye, but when you enter and take in the rows of jauntily mismatched chairs and sofas with pictures and memorabilia of past performaners covering almost every inch of wall space the place grabs you and your imagination. And the performance hasn't even begun!
We attended a play called Stretchmarks, Growing Into Motherhood, written by Christine Armand and performed by four Actresses from San Francisco, CA. The show was a hoot bringing the entire audience to both tears and howls of laughter with a standing ovation at the conclusion!
Wine is sold before the show and during the intermission. The Mainstay can seat over 100 with natural acoustics musicians and audiences love. On other occasions we have enjoyed wonderful musical events.
If you're in Rock Hall, check the blackboard out front of the Mainstay to see who is appearing and be sure to call for reservations as this popular gem frequently sells out!

Visited June 2012
2 Thank flairbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bethesda, MD
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“You won't be disappointed”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2012

When you arrive in Rock Hall, drive down Main Street and check out the sign to see if there are any performances during your visit. If there is something going on, I recommend calling for reservations. You will be amazed at the quality of the music and the friendliness of everyone there. Tickets are usually $15 or $20, but some performances are free. Get there a few minutes early so you can pick your favorite mismatched and random chairs--but don't take the corner of the church pew because that is my favorite seat.

You missed an amazing show last night of duelling pianos and a fun history lesson of boogie woogie, some jazz, rock and roll, blues, but I promise you the next show will be fun also.

There is a bar to buy beer,wine,soda,water and great homemade baked goods as you enter from the deck on the back. Go in, buy a snack, pay your admission, find a seat and start talking to your neighbor. This is a unique place that shows the charms of the town.

Visited June 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
107 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“A great evening!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening at the Mainstay. The musicians were amazing, and it is clear that a lot of thought and energy has gone into shaping this performance space. I just wished we lived nearby so we could go to every show!

Visited May 2012
1 Thank magmack842
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fayetteville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
226 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2012

Difficult to describe the Mainstay. It reminds one of a jazz club. Authentic jazz is probably there most popular offerrings but they address the entire music spectrum. We've seen many of the giants of jazz (our favorite genre) who come from all over to play at the Mainstay. An evening of music is usually $15-$20pp. Call for a rez and pay-at-the-door. No credit/debit cards. No food but they have a beer/wine cash bar. Don't expect lushly decorated surroundings; seating is a hodge-podge of chairs, sofas, and even a couple of pews.

If you can, go there when Sue Matthews appears. Her vocalization is excellent.

The Maistay's roots go back about 11 years when they had the unexpected surprise of having Charley Bird play there. Those were the days when they literally had to dig hard to get entertainment and an audience. Now, agents call them and it's becoming unusual no to have a sell-out for most performances.

If you like music, you can't miss the Mainstay.

Visited March 2012
Thank Dutch1638
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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