• by Kirk Gaw

Entertaining Summer Events At Nearby Amish Acres Starts With "Copacabana!"

"Copacabana" has just started its Summer run at the Amish Acres Round Barn Theater! Just take US Highway 6 east of Walkerton and the complex is right over in Nappanee! The National tour will play at Amish Acres between July 24 – August 26 before it gets to Branson, Missouri. So, get your tickets now for this racy, youthful, musical based on Barry Manilow's unforgettable hit song! It is brought to life onstage as an entertaining nightclub spectacle. "Her name was Lola. She was a showgirl...." So begins this tale of romance and stardom that has captivated audiences across the globe.

Paul Rigano, who’s often been the Music Director for several Round Barn productions, is Stephen and Tony, while Tess Colby plays Samantha and Lola. Emily Whitley is Gladys, Dion Stover plays Sam Silver, and Ryan Schisler is the villain Rico Castelli. Conchita Alvarez is played by Olivia Manlove, and Travis Bird is McManus. Dalton Tyler Isaac is Willie, and the Ensemble includes Akira Watanabe, Violet Race, Matty Reda, Max Mattox, Jake DuVall-Early, Sarah Leigh Beason, Amelia Sutherland, and Patrick O’Keefe.

Stephen, a present-day, aspiring songwriter, is in the midst of writing a tune that tells the story of Lola: fresh off the plane from Tulsa, she arrives in New York with showbiz aspirations. Tony is a bartender/composer who falls in love with her and helps her become a Copa girl. Lola, of course, attracts the amorous attentions of Rico. When Rico goes a bit too far by abducting Lola and taking her to his rival nightclub in Havana, Tony and the whole Copacabana crew set off to rescue Lola!

Audiences will delight in “…Copacabana's” splashy production numbers and the slew of brand new Barry Manilow songs. A return to traditional American musical theatre flair, the large cast size boasts numerous chances for performers to shine, while the title alone will incite the interest of subscribers and entire newcomers to the theatre. This sensational, original, “Barry Manilow's Copacabana” is a show that will leave you breathless. For information and reservations call the box office at 800-800-4942 or, go

Beginning Thursday, August 2nd - 5th is the 56th Annual Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival

It started as a small clothes line art show but, today, there are around 300 vendors from 27 states across the country who have brought their handmade works. The four-day event begins next Thursday, and will run until Sunday. Organizers say they expect to see 60,000 visitors over the course of the festival. Gates open Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 dollars for seniors and kids 12 and under get in for free. Parking is also free.

In addition to art and crafts, there is live music, food, and entertainment for all ages. The festival is located at the Amish Acres Historical Farm & Heritage Resort east of Walkerton on Highway U.S. 6 at 1600 W Market St. in Nappanee.

Be sure to catch the original, Amish Acres flagship production of "Plain-N-Fancy!" This uplifting musical landed for another run to celebrate it's 30th anniversary at the theater complex. The celebrated show started on May 23rd and runs through October 24th under the direction of Amber Burgess. A New Yorker and his sophisticated girlfriend drive down around Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to sell a piece of property.

Here they meet Amish folk, whose convoluted English speech, clothes and habits haven't changed for centuries. The clash of cultures educates and entertains at the same time in this quaint musical comedy. It was the first Broadway show for both composer Albert Hague and author Joseph Stein who each went on, respectively, to win Tony awards for Redhead and Fiddler On The Roof. The Round Barn Theatre has become the national home of this 1955 Broadway hit. This 2017 production marks the 31st anniversary year that The Round Barn Theatre has produced Plain and Fancy making it one of the longest running shows of all time!

Finally, don't miss the new musical "Happy Days!" It will be playing at The Roundbarn Theater beginning September 4th - October 14th. Based on the Garry Marshall TV series with Music, and Lyrics by Paul Williams, Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French. A powerful, nostalgic trip about youth, and Rock-n-roll! Goodbye gray skies, hello blue! Happy days are here again with Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph and the unforgettable "king of cool" Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli.

Based on the hit Paramount Pictures television series, “Happy Days-A New Musical” reintroduces one of America's best loved families, the Cunninghams -- yes, Howard, Marion and Joanie are here too -- to a whole new generation of kids and parents. The famed drive-in malt shop and number one hangout, Arnold's, is in danger of demolition. So the gang teams up to save it with a dance contest and a TV-worthy wrestling match. Even Pinky Tuscadero, Fonzie's childhood sweetheart, returns to help and -- lo and behold! -- they rekindle their old flame. “Happy Days-A New Musical,” comes from the amazing music from Oscar-winner Paul Williams and a book by the TV series original creator Garry Marshall. Return to the days of 1959 Milwaukee complete with varsity sweaters, hula hoops and jukebox sock-hoppin' fun.

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