Nestled in the limestone hills of Mineral Point, hidden away from streetlight and sight, lies an uncovered treasure. Carved out of ancient rock, an amphitheatre can be found at the end of a winding, rustic path. This outdoor venue perched above historic Shake Rag Street is known as Alley Stage. I recently attended the last summer concert there.
The night begins as the heavy rhythm of the string bass bounces off the striated rock backdrop and fills the area while the mandolin adds a subtle direction to the song. With the addition of Maggie’s sultry lead vocals the audience is at once ensorcelled (that’s right – it means bewitched or enchanted) by the gypsy jazz of Madison’s Harmonious Wail.
As the smoke from the torch lamps creeps across the stage, the band meanders into a slow, macabre dirge. You forget for a moment that you are in a small town founded by Cornish miners and have been transported somewhere else. After numerous soulful songs, the band winds down to the final number. And as if on cue, to accompany the end of the show, a welcome and gentle rain begins to fall. Such is the experience at Alley Stage.
You don’t need to wait for next summer to experience Alley Stage. “We are looking forward to our All Hallow’s Eve performance on the 27th of October,” says Ainsley Anderson, Managing Director of Alley Stage, “as well as our holiday performance in early December.”
For more information on upcoming performances, visit Alley Stage or call 608-987-3292.