Barn Dinner Theater | NC Weekend | UNC-TV


IN THE 1970’S NEARLY 200 DINNER
THEATRES ATTRACTED AUDIENCES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, BUT AS THE
CURTAIN CLOSED ON THEIR HEYDAY, THE NUMBER OF PLACES WHERE YOU
WERE ABLE TO “PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD” DRASTICALLY DECLINED. STEPHANIE BOURLAND SHOWS US,
THAT “DINNERTAINMENT” IS STILL GOING STRONG IN GREENSBORO AT
THE BARN DINNER THEATRE WHERE FOLKS HAVE BEEN FILLING THE
SEATS AND THEIR PLATES FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY.>>GOOD AFTERNOON,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!>>THE BARN DINNER THEATER IS
ON THEIR 51st SEASON. WE’RE HAPPY TO HAVE YOU.>>APPLAUSE FROM THE AUDIENCE
FOR A WELL-PREPARED FEAST! IT’S AS PASSIONATE AS IT IS FOR
A WELL-PRODUCED PLAY.>>PEOPLE DO WANT TO SEE
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT. THEY DO WANT TO HAVE
AN EVENING OUT. WE HAVE GREAT FOOD, GREAT
SERVICE AND THE SHOWS ARE JUST OUTSTANDING.>>LOVE THE CONCERT.>>I’M TELLING YOU, YOU SMOKED. [LAUGHTER]
>>AFTER MORE THAN 50 YEARS OF SERVING UP MEALS AND MUSICALS,
GUESTS OFTEN RE-VISIT THE BARN WHERE THEY’RE TREATED
LIKE PART OF THE FAMILY.>>HAVE YOU BEEN TO
THE BARN BEFORE? GOOD. SO YOU KNOW YOU’RE
IN FOR A TREAT.>>FROM COMEDY TO GOSPEL, SHOWS
AT THE BARN ARE CONTINUALLY UPDATED TO PROVIDE PEOPLE WITH
FRESH, FUN ENTERTAINMENT.>>FOR MANY YEARS, PEOPLE KEEP
SAYING THEATER WILL DIE, THEATER WILL DIE. BUT WE KEEP IT ALIVE HERE AND
PEOPLE LOVE THAT. [LAUGHTER]
>>LIVE THEATER GIVES YOU SOMETHING THAT MOVIES CANNOT. IT GIVES YOU THE POSSIBILITY OF
SEEING SOMETHING THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS SEEN.>>THE BARN HAS BEEN DOING THAT
LONGER THAN ANY OTHER THEATER OF ITS KIND IN THE COUNTRY.>>LATE 60s, EARLY 70s, IT WAS
26 OF THESE SPREAD OUT ACROSS THE UNITED STATES.>>THE BARN WAS PART OF THAT
DINNER THEATER CHAIN. BREAKING GROUND IN GREENSBORO IN
THE SUMMER OF 1964. AND THEY’VE BEEN PUTTING ON
PERFORMANCES HERE EVER SINCE.>>WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU
SAW A PACIFIC ISLAND SOMEWHERE?>>THERE’S THREE LEFT, HERE,
NASHVILLE AND ONE IN ARKANSAS CALLED MURRAY’S
DINNER PLAY HOUSE.>>HI, GUYS.>>WHEN I FIRST TOOK OVER HERE
OVER 20 YEARS AGO, IT HAD GOURMET FOOD AND BROADWAY SHOWS. I HAVE AN EIGHT-YEAR
CULINARY DEGREE. THEY DID NOT WANT GOURMET. THEY WANTED TRADITIONAL
SOUTHERN CUISINES. THEY WANT THE BLACK ANGUS BEEF,
THE HILLSHIRE HAM, THE MASHED POTATOES, THE MACARONI AND
CHEESES, THE BREAD PUDDING.>>AFTER THE FEEL,
THE SHOW MUST GO ON. TRANSFORMING THIS BUFFET INTO A
THEATER IS A WELL-REHEARSED ACT. LIGHTS ARE LOWERED AND SO IS THE
STAGE ON A SPECIAL ELEVATOR.>>AND YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU
MIGHT SEE AT THIS THEATER. ONE VERY FAMOUS FACE
APPEARED AT THE BARN. ALBEIT NOT FOR VERY LONG.>>ROBERT De NIRO WAS HERE
IN THE 70s. DID A SHOW CALLED
“PITCHING, PITCHING.” HE WAS TERMINATED FROM
THE PRODUCTION. DIDN’T WANT TO WAIT TABLES NOR BUS TABLES. SO ROBERT GOT TERMINATED. SO HE DIDN’T MAKE IT. HE’S NO ONE NOW.>>FROM THE BARN DINNER THEATER
IN GREENSBORO, I’M STEPHANIE BOURLAND FOR
“NORTH CAROLINA WEEKEND”.

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