Theater review: The Comedy Barn

By Jim Eastin

The crowds were out in force over the weekend. That was certainly the case at the Comedy Barn Theater on Sunday evening. The full house, the smell of popcorn and the sound of barkers in the lobby gave one the feel of attending an old time circus.

The theater’s red oval curtain functioned like a big top charging the atmosphere with grand expectations of talking dogs, mind reading pigs and trained cats—not the big, scary kind mind you, just regular cats.  All four circus food groups were also available: popcorn, nachos, ice cream, soft drinks and an assortment of T-shirts, photo key chains and other must-have souvenirs.

As the show began, reality did not disappoint. With a cast dressed like a “He-Haw” reunion and telling jokes to match, the program took off like a steam locomotive down the track to yesteryear. Not back in chronological time exactly, but back to childhood; a time when parents didn’t have to worry about blue humor or scantily clad dancers.  A time when adults and kids could laugh at the same zany antics and a cat jumping through a hoop could raise the roof with cheers.  This show did all that.

A very small cast of 3 pretty cloggers, a four piece band, and three other players made up the bulk of the theater troop.  Everyone did double duty selling souvenirs before the show and at intermission, which might lead one to think that they weren’t top notch entertainers but that would be wrong.

Every one had a specialty. They were well seasoned and knew how to handle a live audience. Deserving special mention was Danny DeVanny, an amazing force of nature who does an entire act just spitting ping pong balls.  No, really!

The show was heavy with ventriloquism, audience participation, live music, and animal acts.  The comedy never veered into adult territory and children and adults were howling with laughter. If you are looking for a show with sophistication and panache’, this is not the one for you.  But if are looking for fun, family-friendly comedy.  That is their specialty.  The Comedy Barns tag line is “A Barn Full of Comedy” and so it is.

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