The Barnstormers Summer Season, July & August 2014

Ready, Set, Go for The Barnstormers 86th season of exhilarating, enchanting, enthralling live theatre.


Now on Stage

 Toad of Toad Hall

through Saturday, August 2

Toad (Ryan Malyar) always sees the possibility of a great adventure with little care for the consequences that lie ahead for him and Mole (Jean Mar Brown). Photos by Duane Dale,

Here’s what folks are saying about Toad of Toad Hall:

“For 50 years I’ve loved this Barnstormers classic. Tonight’s acting, the set and the choreography were wonderful.”

“This is a cast full of grownups who haven’t forgotten how to play and children who are having a good time playing along with them.”

“I just loved it. I wish my grandchildren lived nearby so they could see it. A wonderful excuse to bring the young to experience the magic of live theater.”

“The scenery was amazing, like beautiful, imaginative illustrations from a children’s book.”

Curmudgeonly Badger (Robert Bates) babysits Toad (Ryan Malyar) who, after seven crashes, is no longer allowed to drive a ‘real’ car.

Audiences of all ages will delight in this Barnstormers classic based on Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. By the time kind Rat, wise Badger, and shy Mole realize that even tough love has no effect on their naughty friend Mr. Toad, it’s already too late. The irrepressible Toad goes from calling a policeman “fat-face” to a 20-year prison sentence, and from there to a daring escape and a ferocious battle with riffraff from the wrong side of the woods.  After that, it’s tea and toasts all around in this playful tale of true friendship.

This show features many Barnstormers veterans including Robert Bates, Jean Mar Brown, Elaine Anderson, Andrew Codispoti, Anne Batchelder, Angela Smith and almost a dozen young actors from the Tamworth area.

“Children’s eyes in the first row were wide, fixed, and bright. Why? Because ‘Toad of Toad Hall’ is bright, vivid, and packed with movement.  It’s also packed with fun.”

  Sponsored by:  The Community School



Up next:


L-R, Funnymen Blair Hundertmark, John Schnatterly and Doug Shapiro lampoon every sport know to man – and then some – in this fast paced sports spoof. Photo by Rachel Landis


Illustrations © 2014 by Janina Lamb •

The Complete World of Sports (abridged), by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor
August 5 – 9 (more details)

From the inimitable Reduced Shakespeare Company comes a no-holds-barred survey of The Complete World of Sports (abridged) that covers all the bases (even ones you never heard of ), and goes the distance while moving the goalposts so many times all you can do is roll with the punches. Martin and Tichenor hit it out of the park with a full-court press slam-dunk winner. Whether you are an avid sports fan or you find the whole business a nonstarter, this show is a knockout of high spirits and originality.



Illustrations © 2014 by Janina Lamb •

Be My Baby, by Ken Ludwig
August 12 – 16 (more details)

Ken Ludwig keeps Barnstormers’ audiences rolling in the aisles year after year. This summer’s Be My Baby is a softer, sweeter comedy—lots of laughs, but less farce and more fondness, at least by the end. It wouldn’t be as funny if the grouchy Scotsman and the uptight Englishwoman liked each other right off the bat. Time and circumstances do the trick. Oh, and a baby.



Illustrations © 2014 by Janina Lamb •

The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie
August 19 – 23 (more details)

The Mousetrap is classic Christie. A snowed-in guest house full of unrelated (or are they?) people, one of whom is a murderer. You won’t know who it is until the end and then you mustn’t tell. As Mollie Ralston, the hostess, notes, “it seems very hard that all of our guests should be either unpleasant or odd.” First produced in 1952, this famous whodunit marked its 25,000th performance in 2012—the longest-running show on the planet.



Illustrations © 2014 by Janina Lamb •

Little Shop of Horrors, book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken
August 26 – 30 (more details)

What do you get when you cross a schlocky 60s horror flick about a large man-eating plant with a do-wop chorus and a tender love story? You propagate a hybrid brimming over with the life force energy of musical theatre at its quirkiest and best. Motown-style songs, vegetative puppetry, and an out-of-this-world story make Little Shop of Horrors a show not to be missed.