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Dueling Amish musicals

April 21, 2011

Since 1986, Amish Acres in Nappannee, IN, has been presenting "Plain and Fancy," a 1955 Broadway musical set in Amish country. I've seen about a half dozen of the show's more than 3,000 performances over the years, and have enjoyed it every time. Plus, you can't beat the family-style dinner served just a few steps away.

Well, now Amish Acres and its Round Bard Theatre have some buggy-riding competition.

Blue Gate Theatre, just 45-minutes away in Shipshewana (and adjacent to its own 600-seat restaurant), will be launching its own musical, "The Confession," in June.

Based on a trio of novels by Beverly Lewis, the newly-penned "The Confession"--like "Plain & Fancy"--concerns culture clash, shunning, and a young woman named Katie.

But where "P&F," with a book by "Fiddler on the Roof" scribe Joseph Stein, is more traditional Broadway in sound, "The Confession"--with a songwriting team led by Christian songswmith Wally Nasan--has more contemporary ambitions. For a listen, click here.

Can one state handle two Amish musicals?

Hear for yourself. "Plain and Fancy" runs May 29-Oct 22 at Amish Acres in repertoire with "Hello, Dolly!" "Ring of Fire," and more. "The Confession" opens June 1 and plays through Dec. 3 (in and around Blue Gate's lineup of concerts including performances by Sandi Patti and Pat Boone).

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