NAPPANEE — The 27th season of the musical “Plain and Fancy” kicked off inside the Round Barn Theatre, Wednesday, May 29, following an opening night reception held inside the Upper Room at Amish Acres Restaurant.
During the prelude to the featured performance, Executive Producer and CEO Richard Pletcher dedicated the current season to former Indiana Gov. Dr. Otis Bowen and his wife, Carol.
The former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Bowen was a big supporter of the Round Barn Theatre.
His interest in the theatre began with its 1990 construction and the first on-stage performances.
“Dr. Bowen and his wife, Carol, were the Round Barn Theatre’s subscribers number three (third to buy
into the seasonal performances),” said Pletcher, reading the ordinance dedicating the season to Bowen.
He then recalled with great affection that Bowen attended performances regularly each season – even when wheelchair bound — until his death on May 4.
“As Joseph Stein (who created the musical) is the theatre’s guiding light for what goes on this stage, Dr. Bowen is patron number one,” Pletcher said.
Following the opening night, reception ticket holders were treated to the season’s first performance of the musical which takes a fond look at the traditions of the Amish culture as they mix under the eyes of a visiting couple from New York City.
In turn, the non-Amish invading the neighborhood learn much from the plain lifestyles they witness each day of their stay in an area known as Bird In Hand.
Laughter erupted throughout both levels of audience seating, beginning with chuckles at the city folks trying to adjust to country life where buttons are optional, hard work is a part of every day, and where doing for others is the greatest way to show love and respect.
The modest Amish lifestyle, with limited knowledge of the world outside their community,
brought even more humor.
Amish women were stunned by the sight of a big fancy feather hat which led them to assume the city-slicker wearing it must be Spanish and from Mexico just like a woman they had once seen in a magazine.
The miscommunications continued throughout the performance in good fun until at last one important point of tradition was seen in a new light in order to facilitate true romance.
There was something for everyone in the play. The production as a whole delighted a diverse audience.
“Plain and Fancy,” now playing at Round Barn Theatre until October 19, is one of the longest running musicals of all time.
It has been performed before over 3,600 audiences since it first opened in 1955.
The Round Barn Theatre has become its national home, and features a live performance stage named after the musical’s creator, Joseph Stein.
Other all-time favorite musicals created by Stein include “Hello, Dolly!”, “My Fair Lady,” “Oklahoma,”
“South Pacific,” “The Sound of Music,” “The Music Man” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”
“Plain and Fancy” performances continue through Oct. 19 at Joseph Stein Stage inside The Round Barn Theatre,
U.S. 6 West, Nappanee.
For More Information, call the box office at (800) 800-4942 ext. 2, or go online at amishacres.com.