This hilarious over-the-top musical spin on the story Gone with the Wind is one of the most requested shows in Barter Theatre's history, and it's coming back for a limited engagement to open Barter's 80th season. "I'll Never Be Hungry Again" opens tonight, February 7 at Barter Stage II. "Hungry" is written by Barter Playwright-In-Residence Catherine Bush and played to a sold-out runin 2006.
Stephen Scott Wormley (Jonny, "Zombie Prom" and Terk, "Tarzan") plays David, a grad student assigned the book for a Southern literature class. When David 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 wild dream, right? Or is it?
In 2007, reviewer Jim Quesenberry called the show "a rollicking, rocket-fast trip through Dixieland that spares none in its wake. Everyone and everything is fair game and no one escapes unscathed in this blistering onslaught of comedic finger pointing."
"I'll Never Be Hungry Again" is directed by Susanne Boulle, with original music by Gary Bartholomew. All of the iconic roles are played by a multitalented cast of five actors and a pianist-all Barter audience favorites. Sean Campos, Hannah Ingram, Nick Koesters, Erin Parker and Stephen Scott Wormley with Lee Harris on piano perform outrageous musical numbers including "The Butler Did It" and "It's Curtains For Starlett.
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? Can Whammy teach Sissy how to tap?
What makes this story so outlandishly funny? According to Catherine Bush, "We thrust an African-American male grad student-a Yankee, for goodness sakes! -into the world of corsets, cavaliers and 'society' that made up the Old South and watch him try to figure it all out. It's wildly ironic and a wonderful ride! "Gone With the Wind" is such a classic- and so deliciously spoof-able. Carol Burnett was the first to figure that out in the 70s. I'd like to think that Gary and I picked up where she left off."
"The physical and over-the-top humor connected with full house after full house when we last produced it," said Richard Rose, producing artistic director. "We're so excited to bring "I'll Never Be Hungry Again" back to Barter Stage II.
Barter is hosting a reception to kick off its 80th Anniversary Season February 7 from 5pm to 7pm in the Main Stage lobby. Meet playwright Catherine Bush and view the newly installed murals by local artist DR Mullins.
"I'll Never Be Hungry Again" opens tonight, February 7. For tickets and more information, call (276) 628-3991 or visit BarterTheatre.com.
Barter Theatre. With its unique beginnings during the Great Depression, Barter Theatre, one of this nation's oldest professional non-profit theatres, is located in beautiful historic Abingdon, Virginia. Barter Theatre is a theatre of firsts: one of this nation's first professional regional theatres, the first professional theatre to be designated a state theatre - The State Theatre of Virginia and more. Today, Barter offers a variety of musicals, classics, comedies, dramas and new southern and Appalachian plays performed February - December yearly on two stages: Barter Theatre and Barter Stage II. Barter Theatre continues to be one of the nation's most vibrant and exciting professional theatre experiences.
Pictured: Erin Parker, Stephen Scott Wormley and Nick Koesters star in Barter Theatre's musical spoof of "Gone With the Wind," entitled "I'll Never Be Hungry Again" by Catherine Bush.