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'Dinner With Friends' at The Barnstormers Theatre July 14-18

Actors John Schnatterly as Gabe, Leigh Ellen Caudill as Karen, Kathy Manfre as Beth, and Bill Mootos as Tom take the stage at The Barnstormers Theatre July 14 through 18 in the play, ‘Dinner With Friends.’ Brad Ball. (click for larger version)
July 17, 2009
With a tight cast of four, what The Barnstormers loses in numbers (people and songs) it gains in sheer acting excellence.

Two couples, four friends — Leigh Ellen Caudill (Karen), John Schnatterly (Gabe), Kathy Manfre (Beth) and Bill Mootos (Tom) — bring such a high level of emotional authenticity to their roles that the power of live theatre shines forth. These splendid actors are supported by the seamless direction of Dale Place, a Barnstormers actor and director since 1981, and by set and lighting design that makes creative use of the stage in alternating vignettes.

Humorously spiced throughout with the piquant sauce of food-writers Karen and Gabe's obsession with the finer points of all things edible, Pulitzer-prize-winning "Dinner With Friends" is the story of how one couple's breakdown/breakup impacts their relationship with their closest friends, and their closest friends' relationship with each other.

"Dinner With Friends" is more than the meanderings of adults in midlife; it is a reflection on the poignant reality that even close, committed relationships can founder on the rocky shores of fear, longing, and the passage of time, and that our lives are shaped by choices we don't know we are making. Whether you nod in agreement, squirm in your seat, or laugh at the jokes, you will find this play well-seasoned with the tragi-comic flavors of life.

Don't forget that Friday Night is Family Night at The Barnstormers. Family groups (which include at least one person 18 or under) may purchase tickets on the day of the show for less than half price: $14.50 for orchestra seats and $9.50 for the balcony. These special tickets are subject to availability, so first come, first served. In addition, The Barnstormers also offers Saturday Matinee Young Audience Tickets for people 18 and under – $15 in the orchestra and $10 in the balcony. Please note: Dinner with Friends deals with adult themes, so parental discretion is advised.

"Dinner with Friends" runs July 14 – 18 at The Barnstormers Theatre on Main St. in Tamworth. Curtain time is 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.  

For information and tickets, call the box office at 323-8500 or email tickets@barnstormerstheatre.org. Family Night ticket sales begin at noon on Friday

Varney Smith
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