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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

A First for Barter Theatre

Whammy (Nick Koesters) tightens Starlett O'Hara's corset in Barter Theatre's musical spoof of
Whammy (Nick Koesters) tightens Starlett O'Hara's corset in Barter Theatre's musical spoof of "Gone With The Wind" written by Catherine Bush. "I'll Never Be Hungry Again" moves from Stage II to Main Stage on April 6.

"I'll Never Be Hungry Again!" moving to head of the table

April 01, 2013

Abingdon, VA In the 80 years Barter Theatre has been producing theatre, it has never taken a show from Stage II to Main Stage in less than four weeks, but that's exactly what it is doing with "I'll Never Be Hungry Again!"

Audiences and reviewers have raved about the tongue-in-cheek send-up of Gone With the Wind. "This is one wickedly good production" — Bristol Herald Courier. "A rollicking, rocket-fast trip through Dixieland that spares none in its wake." Washington County News

"This is a very big deal," said Amanda Leslie, director of marketing for the professional theatre. "We perform four shows most everyday on two stages. Actors perform in two shows at any given time. It's not as easy as, say, running a movie in a different theatre.

Why is Barter moving the play to main stage? 'I'll Never Be Hungry Again is one of the funniest shows we've produced. Audience demand was unprecedented. We are a regional theatre, and the region told us they wanted more of this show, so we will deliver," said Leslie.

Written by Catherine Bush with music by Gary Bartholomew, the story goes like this: David (Stephen Scott Wormley) is a grad student assigned the book Gone With the Wind for a Southern lit class. But he doesn't want to read the book about white people "gettin' rich off the sweat of their black brethren." So he waits until the night before the test to study.

When he passes out in the middle of the story, he wakes up to find himself in an over-the-top alternate reality, where "Starlett O'Hara" (Erin Parker) is wooed by "Whet Butler" (Nick Koesters) and strives to save her plantation Terra Firma from the Yankees with the help of "Whammy" (also Nick Koesters!). It's only a crazy dream, right? Or is it?

Slightly skewed and fraught with musical zaniness, I'll Never Be Hungry Again has its tongue firmly in its cheek as it asks: will Starlett and that scallywag Whet Butler ever hook up? Is Smelanie Hamilton really that sweet? Why does Whammy have a mustache?

Most of the cast will reprise their roles. Nicholas Piper will replace Sean Campos as Ghastly Wilkes and others because Campos is playing Father in the world premiere of Half a World Away running in the same time slot at Barter Stage II.

I'll Never Be Hungry Again opens on Barter's Main Stage on April 6. Early Bird Season PassBooks will be honored for the first 12 performances, and Porterfield PassBooks for Walking Across Egypt will be honored. Call 276-628-3991 or visit BarterTheatre.com for tickets and more information.

A! ExtraTopics: Theatre