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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

Barter Theatre announces season

December 28, 2016

Barter Theatre announces its 2017 season lineup. Complete with performance selections from various productions, the season contains more than 15 diverse shows planned for 2017.

From comedies to classics, the season offers "Footloose: the Musical," "The Sound of Music," "Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem" and a highly anticipated extension of the summer blockbuster, "Mamma Mia!"

Also on the roster in 2017 is "Ain't Misbehavin,'" which focuses on the work of Fats Waller. Producing Artistic Director Richard Rose said, "I love "Ain't Misbehavin'!' I think it's one of the best musicals of the past 40 years. Partially because I think Fats Waller's music is not only so fun, it's jazz and swing, but it's also very moving. And very funny at times; it's very clever."

Planning a Barter Theatre season is no small undertaking. Rose called the selecting of a season, "the Rubik's cube of planning," saying, "There are a lot of complexities of putting a season together particularly because we operate in repertory, and you can see four or five shows in any given weekend."

Rose also mentioned additional updates for 2017. Previously, Barter Theatre offered PassBooks. New for 2017 are Barter Theatre custom subscriptions. Subscribers enjoy the same benefits as PassBook holders along with perks such as priority seating, payment plans, 15 percent off single tickets and 50 percent off youth subscriptions.

For more information about purchasing a Barter Theatre Custom Subscription, visit bartertheatre.com or call the box office at 276-628-3991.

Barter Theatre's 2017 season begins in February and features the following shows on the Gilliam Stage.

"Mamma Mia" is back in the spring. Sophie has just one wedding wish: for her father to walk her down the aisle. Now she just has to find out who he is. Featuring more than 20 ABBA songs, it's the feel-good experience that will have you singing and dancing over and over and over again.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" takes the audience to a midsummer night, when four young lovers find themselves wrapped in the dream-like arms of an enchanted forest where sprites lurk and fairies rule.

"Footloose: The Musical" focuses on one small town's trouble with rebellious teenagers, determined to challenge the local ban on dancing. Features the hit songs "Footloose," "Somebody's Eyes," "Holding Out for a Hero," "Let's Hear it for the Boy" and "Almost Paradise."

"The Cottage" is a comedic tale of sex, betrayal and love. The true meanings of fate, identity and marriage are called into question as a hilarious web of secrets unravels in this potentially (not quite) murderous romantic comedy.

"Ain't Misbehavin" evokes the delightful humor and infectious energy of Fats Waller, an American original. The cast struts, strums and sings the songs he made famous in a career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood.

"The Sound of Music" comes to the stage in the fall. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family thrills audiences.

"Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem" has a new adventure. It's Queen Victoria's 50th year on the British Throne, and Annie Oakley is the toast of London with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Extravaganza. Victorian England is smashed together with the Wild West in a case only Sherlock Holmes can unravel.

The following shows are at Stage II.

"Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks" explores the antagonism between a man from one background and the wife of a Southern Baptist minister, which gives way to profound compatibility as they swing dance, tango, foxtrot and cha-cha.

"Uncanny Valley" looks to the not too distant future, where researchers develop a means of extending the human lifespan through artificial intelligence. In this jaunt into the future Claire, a neuroscientist, forms a relationship with Julian, a non-biological human.

"The Savannah Sipping Society" is a comedy about four Southern women, all needing to escape their day-to-day routines, drawn together by fate — and an impromptu happy hour. Misadventures and the occasional liquid refreshment lead the ladies to discover lasting friendships and a renewed determination to live in the moment.

In "Leaving Iowa," Don Browning is a middle-aged writer, returning to take his father's ashes to his childhood home, as requested. But when Don discovers Grandma's house is now a grocery store, he travels across Iowa searching for a proper final resting place.

"Ghost, Ghost, Come Out Tonight" follows two couples into woods that are supposedly haunted by a pitchfork-wielding ghost bent on revenge. When a childhood game leads to the discovery of a grisly murder, the couples investigate. Relationships shatter as friends try to solve the mystery before it's too late.

"Friendly's Fire" is about the lengths Todd will go to preserve his best friend Guy Friendly's sanity.

"A Tuna Christmas" features radio station OKKK personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie who report on Yuletide activities, focusing on the annual big event, the Christmas lawn display competition. Twenty-two characters are played by two quick-changing actors.

"The Santaland Diaries" stars Crumpet, a rebel without a Claus, who recounts his true-life tale of an out-of-work writer's stint as a Macy's department store elf. A delightfully absurd look at the commercial Christmas season, David Sedaris' sharp and hilarious observations are rapidly becoming one of the nation's most popular holiday shows.

Topics: Theatre