The Barter Theatre, the State Theatre of Virginia, will perform several fresh works during the 2003 repertory theatre including a new musical biography Grace Moore: The Tennessee Nightingale, a new comedy from Jennifer Jarret; Divorce, Southern Style; Sundown, an Old West musical, which premiered in spring 2002; and the return of Keep on the Sunny Side: The Songs and Story of the Carter Family, a big hit for the company this summer.
Sunny Side traces the history of the first family of country music, who made the genre famous. The Carter Family's popular tunes, including ""Church in the Wildwood," "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and the title song, helped this musical bio extend an extra month in its summer world premiere run. Douglas Pote wrote Keep on the Sunny Side, which featured Eugene Wolf, Joy Lynn White and Teresa Williams as A.J., Maybelle and Sarah Carter. Sunny Side will play on the main stage Jan. 29-March 2.
Another premiere musical bio, Grace Moore will play the Stage II Aug. 15-Sept. 21. Moore was a Tennessee mountain girl who grew to international opera stardom through the power of her voice. Nancy Moore conceived the musical tribute and wrote the book with Richard Rose.
Sundown is contemporary country musical about the gun-fighting days of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp by Tony nominee Peter Link (Much Ado About Nothing, The Good Doctor), Joe Bravaco and Larry Rosler. The historical Holliday, by profession a dentist and by talent a gambler, made his name at the OK Corral, where he, Earp and Earp's brothers confronted and killed three cowboys who had challenged them to a fight. Holliday's story has been told in a myriad of movies including "The Outlaw," "Gunfight at the OK Corral," "Tombstone" and "Wyatt Earp." Sundown plays the Main Stage March 7-May 17.
In Divorce, Southern Style, a proper Southern lady hits on the best way to raise some cash (without working, of course!) — remarry her ex-husbands. The only problem is her ex's new flame is pretty hot. Can Eleanor get her husband back after fifteen years or is she actually going to have to get a job? Divorce plays March 19-May 17 on the Main Stage, sharing it with Sundown. Also planned for the season are a new, faithful adaptation of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days (Feb. 13-April 19, Stage II); Shakespeare's The Tempest (Feb. 20-May 10, Stage II); Steel Magnolias (May 1-Aug. 24, Stage II); 1776 (May 22-Aug. 23, Main Stage); One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (June 18-Aug. 10, Stage II); Phantom (Aug. 28-Nov. 23, Main Stage); The Liquid Moon (Sept. 3-Nov. 9, Stage II); The Mousetrap (Sept. 10-Nov. 22, Main Stage); Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures (Sept. 24-Nov. 16, Stage II); and THe Lion in Winter (Nov. 25-Dec. 21, Stage II). The season ends with the seasonal Sanders Family Christmas, playing Nov. 28-Dec. 28 on the Main Stage.
Single tickets are $18 to $35. For reservations, call (276) 628-3991. The Barter Theatre is on the web on http://www.bartertheatre.com.
— By Christine Ehren