"Ethel Waters: His Eye is on The Sparrow" or "Church Basement Ladies: A Second Helping"


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In a Nutshell

Lively theatrical comedy or a powerful biography; buffet includes southern sides, carving station, and desserts

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Apr 25, 2014. Limit 3 per person. Advanced reservations required via phone. Must show valid ID matching name provided at checkout at The Barn Dinner Theatre. Refundable only on day of purchase. Discount reflects The Barn Dinner Theatre's current ticket prices-price may differ on day of the event. For ADA seating, call box office promptly upon receipt of voucher - availability is limited. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

The Deal

Church Basement Ladies: A Second Helping

Based on the book Growing Up Lutheran by Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson, the second installment of the Church Basement Ladies’ musical-comedy series revisits four women who prepare food for their church’s functions. The year is 1969, and this time they’re dishing up entrees for a high-school banquet. Between bouts in the kitchen, these spirited four—including the perennial matriarch and the young mom-to-be—perform at their church’s Missionary Night, root for the Vikings, and provide each other support during changing times and looming metrication.

Ethel Waters: His Eye is on The Sparrow

Broadway actress, vaudeville performer, blues and jazz singer—though these titles share top billing on Ethel Waters’ resume, they only scratch the surface of her story. The veteran performer, who rose to fame after climbing out of a childhood spent stealing in Philadelphia’s slums, was also the first black woman to be nominated for an Emmy and the second to be nominated for an Academy Award. All these accomplishments helped fuel her autobiography His Eye is on The Sparrow, which later morphed into this musical stage production. To spin the tale of Waters’ life, the piece includes the tunes she made famous during her long career, including “Dinah,” “Stormy Weather,” and “Heat Wave.”

The Barn Dinner Theatre

In its earliest days, putting on a show at The Barn Dinner Theatre was a labor of love. Cast members, who were assembled in New York and traveled among the country’s Barn locations, lived above the theatre during their engagements and served in the dining room as waiters before rushing off to get into costume. Today, though they sometimes still stay in the onsite living quarters, the performers only have to concentrate on presenting an entertaining spectacle to audiences at what is billed as “America’s longest-running dinner theater.”

That task is made a lot easier by a buffet that satisfies guests with fresh-greens salad, a selection of southern sides, and choice slices of Angus roast beef and honey-glazed ham at the carving station. A sight sweetened by a decadent dessert such as housemade cobbler, the descent of the stage from the ceiling signals that the evening’s magic is on its way. Onlookers sit back for entertainment with no shortage of laughs, music, and emotion, ranging from popular productions such as Legally Blonde to country and bluegrass concerts to holiday-themed extravaganzas.

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