Great Barrington, Mass.—Vocalist, songwriter, author, and actor Leslie Odom, Jr. will perform in an evening of live music, backed by an accompanying band, giving soulful treatments to familiar melodies and long-time favorites at the 2021 Mahaiwe Gala on Sunday, October 10 at 8 p.m. 

With a career that spans all performance genres, Odom has received recognition with Tony and Grammy Awards as well as Emmy and, most recently, two Academy Award nominations for his excellence and achievements in Broadway, television, film, and music.  

“We are honored to host Leslie Odom, Jr. for this special Mahaiwe benefit following the stretch of closed doors and pause in performances we’re collectively emerging from,” says Mahaiwe Director of Advancement Diane Wortis. “His stardom – at a celebrated high and continuing to rise still – will offer a return to the arts for all ages and backgrounds, and the night will be remembered for years to come.” 

Odom currently stars and performs the songs of legendary singer Sam Cooke in the film adaptation of the Olivier Award-nominated play, One Night in Miami, directed by Regina King. His portrayal of the soul icon has been met with widespread praise and critical acclaim, earning him nominations for an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics’ Choice Award, Golden Globe Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards, among others. King also enlisted Odom to write, compose, and perform the film’s original song, “Speak Now,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar and has since earned a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Song, as well as several other award nominations.  

Odom has released four highly lauded studio albums, including two holiday records and his chart-topping, self-titled debut. He has performed at the White House, Super Bowl, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and on Live from Lincoln Center. In 2018, he published his first book, Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher and Never Stop Learning. Odom can also be heard voicing the character of ‘Owen Tillerman’ in the Apple TV+ animated musical-comedy series Central Park, for which he received a 2020 Emmy nomination, as well as captivating audiences as ‘Aaron Burr’ in the filmed musical performance of the original Broadway production of Hamilton released in 2020 on Disney+. His other upcoming projects include The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel to David Chase’s Award-winning HBO series The Sopranos set to be released this Fall and Needle in A Timestack written and directed by John Ridley. Additional film and television credits include the limited series Love in the Time of Corona, Harriet, Murder on the Orient Express, Only, Red Tails and Smash.  

The celebratory holiday weekend will be rounded out by a free community performance by Nashville’s Corey Zink Band, sharing bluegrass stylings under the tent on Memorial Field in Great Barrington, on Monday, October 11, from 2 to 4 p.m.  

“We are always looking for opportunities to reach as much of our community as possible,” says Executive Director Janis Martinson. “Some danceable music on an autumn afternoon seems like just the right way to welcome everyone to the party. The band’s fall foray to the Berkshires has become something of a local tradition, and we are pleased to join in.” 

The Mahaiwe 2021 Gala Committee is comprised of Ben Liptzin and Liz Schneider (gala co-chairs), Nurit and Rick Amdur, Sandy and Ron Ashendorf, Donna A. Bernstein, Maggie Buchwald, Debbi and Jim Buslik, Alexandra Cosgrove and Blake Williams, Iin Purwanti Cox and George Cox, Margaret Deutsch, Debi Feinman, Susan and Richard Grausman, Stephanie Wolk Lawrence and David Lawrence, Sue and Dan Lipson, Andrea Marks and David Warmflash, Rick Miramontez and Jamie DuMont, Lizzie Olesker, Karen Richards, Susan Rose and Alan Lafer, Debbie and Eric Ruder, Pat and Larry Rutkowski, Sari Scheer and Sam Kopel, Stephanie and Dick Solar, Mandy Victor-Pieczarka, and Allison and Jeff Wintner.  

Show-only tickets range from $100 to $150 and will go on sale to Mahaiwe Members on Wednesday, July 21 at 12 p.m., followed by a public sale on Friday, July 23 at 12 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets visit or call 413-528-0100 during Box Office hours, Wednesday through Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Parties interested in gala packages that include an outdoor dinner should contact Mahaiwe’s Director of Advancement Diane Wortis at or 413-644-9040, ext. 123. 

The Mahaiwe is currently observing COVID-19 protocols by asking audience members to verify either vaccination or a recent COVID-19 test and to wear masks inside the theater, among other precautions. 

About the Mahaiwe 

Located in downtown Great Barrington, Mass., the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is the year-round presenter of world-class music, dance, theater, classic films, Live in HD broadcasts, and arts education programs for the southern Berkshires and neighboring regions. The intimate jewel box of a theater opened in 1905. Since 2005, the performing arts center has hosted over 1,500 events and welcomed over half a million people through its doors. More than 22,000 students from 73 different schools have benefited from the Mahaiwe’s school-time performances and residencies. For more information, see 


Leslie Odom, Jr.

Leslie Odom, Jr.