SUGARCREEK — Looking for wholesome holiday entertainment locally? Look no further than the Ohio Star Theater. Situated in the rolling hills of Sugarcreek, the state-of-the art facility seats 500 and offers free parking, shopping, dining and overnight accommodations — all in one location.
The current production of "Christmas in Paradise" will leave the audience both laughing and crying with its touching storyline of an Amish couple who faces the challenge of caring for an ailing parent while managing the day-to-day operations of the thrift store they own.
Betty and Mario Hernandez made a return visit to the theater from Parma recently after seeing a show last year.
"We really enjoy this place," said Betty. "We are making a weekend of it. We visited Berlin and Walnut Creek to shop and then we got tickets for the show tonight. We love the Amish country and visit three or four times per year."
Betty explained that she loved the performance so much last year that she didn’t care what was playing around the holidays this year that she and her husband were coming back.
"The area is so unique," Mario added. "The people are so friendly, it is very relaxing and we really enjoy it here."
Vicki VanNatta, public relations coordinator for the Dutchman Hospitality Group, said that this is the first performance of the play in Ohio. VanNatta works with Blue Gate Musicals out of Nashville, Tennessee, a production company that specializes in Broadway-caliber musicals that are straight from the heart of Amish country.
"We do long runs," said actor Bobby Hall Jr. who plays multiple characters in the production. "We come to town and stay for the duration."
Staying in the area gives the actors an opportunity to experience, first-hand, what life is like in Amish country.
"We are, sort of, educating people on the Amish culture," said actor J. Morgan Shaffo. "Our audience comes back time-and-time again to see these heartwarming shows that are uplifting."
Christmas in Paradise runs through De. 29. For showtimes, tickets and to see future concert and show schedules visit www.dhgroup.com or phone 855-344-7547.
Reporter Dan Starcher can be reached at 330-287-1626 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/?WoosterWriter and Twitter at www.twitter.com/?danstarcher.