Yes, dinner and a show–even at different places–were strangely similar in theme. We saw Murderer at The Barter Theatre this afternoon. I really can’t describe this show as anything I say about it would be a spoiler. Suffice it to say that I was not that impressed with any of it except the production values. That is never a good thing, plays are about stories not sets and sounds. Lest you think I may be crying foul about The Barter, I think the primary short-coming of this show is the script. I can’t be sure, but it certainly seems that way; I’m going to find a copy and read it to make sure.
The theatre itself was very nice and has a resident company that performs no fewer than 17 shows a year (mainstage, second stage, and touring / childrens theatre). The second stage space was a really nice, intimate 170 seat thrust stage. Nicely appointed, the first row of the audience is right on top of the stage, at times the actors were literally 2 inches away from some of the patrons.
The Barter was opened by a starving artist in 1933 and admission was 40 cents or the equivalent in produce. I really like that concept. They continued it for a long while, too. Even today, they have a day every year that they only accept food donations for admission. On that day, you truly have to barter your way into the show (the food is donated to a local pantry).
We had dinner this evening at The Starving Artist Cafe (no relation to the theatre). It certainly is not a place for starving artists to eat. It is a high-end seafood place which starving artists could never afford. The food was very good, and there was some very nice artwork displayed on its walls (it doubles a gallery). The artwork, I presume, may be by starving artists.
All in all, Abingdon is a nice little town. We’re going to go by an actual working mill that still uses 18th century techniques tomorrow morning on our way out of town. I can only think that will help the charm factor.