The Reviews are in!

"I laughed, I cried, it was life-changingly wonderful!"

"Everything about the show was great!"

"I left a changed person!'"
"The intermission snacks were delicious"

"A show like this only happens once a year!"

(but don't rely simply on these made up (yet, true) quotes)

Thanks for a great run of shows to all the performers, musicians, support staff and the audiences who came support this show.


From Big Red Barn ...


Big Red Barn Players Broadway Musical Revue

Returns to Waterfront Theatre on Jan. 11-13


This Changes Everything’ Features Multi-Talented Area Students


            Some of the area’s most talented young performers will warm things up at the Waterfront Theatre with a musical revue all their own Jan. 11-13.

Following last year’s successful all-girl revue “Sugar and Spice,” the creative theatre team is back with “This Changes Everything” a fresh showcase of multi-talented young male and female performers from area schools and colleges.

The musical revue, directed by Erin Evarts of Shelburne, captures the magic of classic Broadway show tunes and introduces some newer songs that are destined to become perennial favorites. Nate Venet, 26, is the musical director, working with the cast that includes students from two middle schools, four high schools, and five colleges. Choregraphy is by local dance instructor and performer Ebby Rylant.

This second annual Broadway revue is another step towards 23-year-old Evarts’ dream to one day have a big red barn in Vermont where she'll stage musicals and dance shows, and teach aspiring young performers.

From red barn rehe...

But for the past few weeks during winter break before returning for her last semester at Emerson College in Boston, Evarts’ focus has been on putting on a show in the best Mickey Rooney-Julie Garland “hey kids’ let's put on a show” tradition.

For instance, until the low-budget, non-profit troupe gets its own “red barn” to rehearse in, Evarts arranged to use donated studio space at the Sports and Fitness Edge in Williston for two weeks of accelerated evening rehearsals. Then as the opening night neared, the 15-member troupe moved across the vast parking lot to set up a rehearsal space in the back of Evarts’ father’s carpet and flooring store after hours. While one duo ran through their song in the makeshift stage area complete with a forklift and surrounded by rolls of carpeting, others practiced up front in the store adjacent to racks of colorful carpet samples and hardwood flooring materials.

“Performances from such favorites as Cinderella, My Fair Lady, and Annie Get Your Gun will delight audiences of all ages. It’s a fun show with lots of humor, great singing and wonderfully fresh, young interpretations of Broadway standards. There’s also plenty of music from many of Broadway’s current smash hits such as The Color Purple, Wicked, and Hairspray,” Evarts explained during a break in rehearsals Friday evening.

Evarts is the kind of hands-on director who planned to go last-minute shopping on the weekend with some of the women to find just the right dress for the show. She moves effortlessly from listening with a critical ear to one couple’s number to advising the two youngest girls in the show on styling their hair. It’s the kind of attention to details that has her waking up at four in the morning thinking about all the pieces – lighting, music, costumes, ticket sales, concessions and even where to have the cast party - that have to fall into place by Thursday's opening night.

            But she’s not doing it alone. She describes her musical director, Nate Venet, 26, as a “musical genius. He listens to the needs of each singer and adjusts the music so that it  complements them and their talents and encourages them to push harder.”

The partnership between Evarts and Venet appears seamless as they interweave compliments and criticism with each other and the cast to make everything look and sound just right.

“Nate makes himself available at all hours for this show, spending hours at a time working out five-part harmonies with young cast members, and rushing straight from his day job at Blue Cross to rehearsal so that he can get in more time with those who want it.  He gives so much to the performance that it wouldn't be possible for the show to go up without him…. and I don't know if I'd want to if Nate wasn't right there with me every step of the way," Evarts revealed.

The Big Red Barn cast includes many well-known local singers and actors who have performed in high school and college productions, as well as Lyric Theatre Company and the summer Stowe Theatre Guild.

Members of the "Changes" cast are: Sophie Bick of Shelburne; James Blanchard of Essex; Grace Experience-Blewer of Lincoln; Amanda Brooklyn of Jericho; Chris Brown of Burlington; Andriana Chobot of Jericho; Anna Harissis of Stowe); Tim Maynes of South Burlington; Noah Mease of Williston, Amelia Munson of Williston; Edward Nagel of Hinesburg; Ebby Rylant of Huntington; Greg Swain of Burlington; Kate Whalen of Colchester; and Hannah Whitney of Hinesburg.

"There's so much energy in the room when everyone is together and rehearsing their songs," Evarts said. "I can't wait to see how it changes everything this week when we finally move to the stage, open the doors on Thursday and have an audience besides just exercise equipment and carpet rolls," Evarts said.

Reserved seats are $15 for all shows and can be ordered by email at Evening shows on Jan. 11-13, begin at 8 p.m. Saturday’s matinee begins at 2 p.m. “While reservations are not necessary, they are strongly encouraged - we sold out almost every show last year,” Evarts said.


If you would like to learn more about helping,
please email Erin Evarts at 


From Changes 011007


click on the photos
above for more photos

Big Red Barn Players Director Erin Evarts, right, shares a laugh with musical director Nate Venet.