by VICTORIA HENLEY
Nestled in the pristine, picturesque, and rolling hills of Amish Country in the beautiful, quaint town of Berlin, Ohio, The Amish Country Theater features a 600-seat, state-of-the-art theater that has been exciting, delighting and entertaining thousands of visitors from around the world for over a decade.
Attached to the world-class, top-rated Berlin Encore Hotel, this award-winning theater features a rotating line up of outrageously unique shows, performed in a kitschy, quirky, and hilariously original manner that could somehow be described as “Hee-Haw meets Saturday Night Live.”
I initially visited Amish Country Theater about three years ago and have subsequently visited annually since. I’m always blown away by the fresh, new, and exciting content the dynamic array of variety shows bring to the stage.
One of the theater’s newest shows, “Udder Nonsense,” features the principal Amish Country Theater cast whom the crowds have grown to know and love, including Amish Country’s lovably absurd, spotlight- stealing country bumpkin Lynyrd, The Beachy Boys (a duo comprised of the unforgettable “Jonas Brothers,” who perform a variety of unpredictable, jaw-dropping parody songs), internationally-acclaimed ventriloquist Ken Groves (who has built an impressive resume of countless international appearances on television, in movies, live/theatrical events, etc), the newest addition to the Amish Country roster principal vocalist Donnie Abraham, and accomplished magician and illusionist Gary Martin, who has logged an impressive roster of film, television, and live theater performances of his own.
This two-hour comedy and music extravaganza takes audiences on a wild and wacky journey through a plethora of songs spanning a array of decades and genres, variety acts, mind-blowing magic and audience participation bits.
Sure to be a highlight of your Amish Country vacation, Udder Nonsense kicks off with toe-tapping music performed by Donnie Abraham (including a cover of “Your Mamma Don’t Dance” by Poison and Loggins and Messina), leading in to a rousing set by the Beachy Boys (highlights include “If You’re Gonna Milk in Berlin (You Gotta Have an Udder in Your Hand”), a parody of Alabama’s “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You’ve Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” , and “Roll On Levi.”
Illusionist Gary Martin wowed throughout his set with mind-blowing feats of magic and mentalism, including an act with a vanishing water cup and a newspaper that is ripped completely to shreds, then remarkably put back together in real time.
Bunn fully inhabits his character of a hapless, lovable, and relentlessly funny Lynyrd, who keeps the crowd in stitches with side-splitting quips, anecdotes and observations on topics such as diets, doctors, politics and marriage.
Audience members are selected by both Lynyrd and Groves for a few particularly hysterical moments, including “Human Puppets” during which the ventriloquist assigns laughingly unconventional voices to volunteers for one of the show’s many highlights.
Other standout moments include a parody of “New York, New York” entitled (You guessed it) “The Farm, The Farm” by the Beachy Boys and the entirety of the ensemble, a touching rendition of “The Lighthouse” by The Heritage Singers brought to life by Abraham, and a beautiful segment at the show’s closing during which each member of the cast contributes to a patriotic painting saluting our troops, set to the tune of “God Bless the USA”.
Special thanks to the incredible Jon Bunn and the entire Amish Country Team for having us back to this one-of-a-kind theater.
PHONE NUMBER: (888) 988-7469