The year was 1967. June 1967 to be exact, and down at Sam’s Place, all of the regulars were there.
The first person we met was a nice young man who instructed us to wait at the side of the road leading down the side of the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. When it was our turn, we joined a line of people, dressed up mostly as hippies, climbing up a staircase to enter the back of the theater.
On the stairs, we were greeted by a familiar face, but atop that face was a floppy hat and inside the hat was a very stoned out hippy chick. Hi Linda!
This was not a typical night of theater, it was more a spectacle, an experience, a be-in. You just had to be there. Sam’s Place came to life for just three nights at the Shea, starting Friday and continuing tonight.
Our guide wound us around through the dressing rooms and the set rooms, and each time, an actor would meet us and bring us into their world of 1967.
There were three eras represented over three nights..Thursday night turned Sam’s into a 1925 speakeasy, with lots of hats and twenties attire. Then Friday, it morphed to 1967, and I donned my dad’s old seersucker suit, thinking that this might be something old Pop would have gone out in back in ’67.
Tonight, the show will morph forward two decades to 1984.
The music included a wonderful singer who did some Bossa Nova tunes, and Joni Mitchell, too! The bar included some special drinks, we enjoyed our Ginger libations, and strolled around.
At one point a crazy black and white movie was playing on the screen of the theater, Sam pot-smoking novelist James Baldwin ruminated over life back in the day.
The only thing that bummed us out was that we never got taken back to any of the rooms. Nobody ever approached us to come check it out. Maybe it was bad timing. But if you go, hope that someone taps you on the shoulder and brings you to a groovy secret place.
But it was all a part of the dream-like world of Sam’s Place. Definitely a cool scene. Check it out tonight! Get tickets here.