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Barter Theatre announces 2018 season

Staff Report • Oct 21, 2017 at 12:30 PM

ABINGDON — Barter Theatre will stage a full slate of comedies, musicals, classics and more next year as part of its 2018 season, which was announced Friday. Check out the lineup below.

Spring 2018:

Gilliam Stage

— “Bright Star”: Inspired by a real event, this bluegrass musical tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption in the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. Barter Theatre will hold the first production of this show in the U.S. since its run on Broadway. The show will run from mid-February to early April.

— “In the Heat of the Night”: Police in Argo, Alabama, discover a dead white man and arrest a black stranger named Virgil Tibbs. As it happens, Tibbs becomes the racially tense community’s only hope in solving a murder that is turning up no clues. The show will run from April to mid-May.

Barter Stage II

— “A Facility for Living”: When someone new arrives to shake things up at Federal Nursing Home No. 273, the residents hatch an outrageous plan to break all the rules. In the process, they rediscover purpose and dignity in the face of a system mightily stacked against them. The show will run from February to March.

— “Shakespeare’s Richard III”: The deceptive and sadistic Richard, Duke of Gloucester, stops at nothing to become King. With intelligence, political brilliance and dazzling use of language, he keeps his subjects and rivals under his thumb. The show will run from March to April.

Summer 2018:

Gilliam Stage

— “Sister Act”: A woman hiding in a convent helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she rediscovers her own. This feel-good comedy is filled with powerful gospel music, outrageous dancing and a moving story. The show will run from late May to mid-August.

— “Steel Magnolias”: Experience the tales of six women who gather under the dryers at Truvy’s Beauty Salon to share gossip, laughter, recipes and beauty secrets on four significant days of their lives in a small southern town. The show will run from mid-June to mid-August.

Barter Stage II

— “Maytag Virgin”: When Jack moves into a house next to Lizzy, they find they have as many things in common as they do differences. In this witty Southern tale, a relationship that begins as a neighborly friendship becomes an unexpected journey of self-discovery and healing. The show will run from May to June.

— “The Lemonade Stand”: When he gets fired from the only job he’s ever had, Garret Miller decides to set up a lemonade stand on the street in front of his upscale suburban house. In this dramatic comedy, Garret sets out to prove the “American Dream.” The show will run from July to August.

— “Madame Buttermilk”: A struggling opera singer has a dream to sing the lead in Carmen. Her agent thinks she’s found the answer, but she finds herself singing at a state fair with a country music band called Car Men. The show will run from mid-June to mid-August.

Fall 2018:

Gilliam Stage

— “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ”: The joint is jumpin’ with the new swing beat to the music of the inimitable Thomas “Fats” Waller, who rose to international fame during the golden age of the Cotton Club. The show will run from mid-August to early September.

— “Singin’ in the Rain”: Live and onstage, the unforgettable scenes, songs and dances from the musical film will make you laugh, make you sing and wow you with the spectacle of it all. The show will run from mid-September to mid-November.

— “Great Expectations”: Pip, a poor orphan child in 19th century England, is plucked from obscurity by the wealthy and decaying Miss Havisham. A secretive benefactor, unrequited love and a series of great expectations plague Pip as he attempts to discover whether people can change who they truly are. The show will run from late September to mid-November.

Barter Stage II

— “Sally McCoy”: Set in August 1882, Sally’s three eldest sons are captured by the Hatfield clan. Sally defies her womanly place in the home and crosses miles of Appalachian wilderness in the dark of night to save her children from certain death at the vengeful hands of the Hatfields. The show will run from September to mid-October.

— “Wait until Dark”: In 1944 Greenwich Village, Susan Hendrix, a blind yet capable woman, is imperiled by a trio of men in her apartment. As the tensions mount, Susan discovers that her blindness just might be the key to her escape. The show will run from October to mid-November.

— “The Bridges of Madison County”: Based on the novel by Robert James Waller, a forbidden love affair between a photographer and a housewife changes them forever. The show will run from October to mid-November.

Christmas 2018:

Gilliam Stage

— “Elf: The Musical”: Buddy is a young orphan who accidentally crawls into Santa’s bag and is taken back to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities force him to face the truth. The show will run from mid-November to late December.

Barter Stage II

— “Wooden Snowflakes”: Trapped on Christmas Eve because her car slid off the icy Kentucky road, Eve Lawson, a cynic who refuses to believe in Santa Claus, finds herself in the home of Simon Peter Whitaker, a woodcarver and expert on Christmas, who is dressed as Santa. The show will run from November to December.

— “The Santaland Diaries”: This outrageous holiday comedy stars Crumpet, a rebel without a Claus, who recounts his true-life tale of being an out-of-work writer doing a stint as a Macy’s department store elf. Recommended for mature audiences, the show will run from late November to December.

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