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SUGARCREEK -- The Ohio Star Theater opened to rave reviews Saturday night, April 1, as Guy Penrod performed his praise and worship music to a sold out house of more than 500 in the sparkling new performing arts theater on the campus of Dutch Valley Restaurant and Carlisle Inn located at 1387 Old Route 39 in Sugarcreek.
"What a great way to inaugurate this fabulous facility, the fact that he brings Jesus Christ into the building," said Don Burris of Cambridge. "We've been up here a few times, to the Carlisle for some of the plays."
"All of the musicians are just so talented," added Carol Buriss, who was enjoying the evening with her husband.
Jon and Kris Young of Mansfield were also extremely impressed with not only the performance of Penrod, which they found exceptional, but the theater itself was spectacular.
"We've come to the other theater in the Carlisle Inn many times, but this is something special," Kris Young said.
"You can tell a lot of serious work went into designing this place," Jon said. "The seats are staggered perfectly so there isn't a bad view. Everybody can see well, hear well. The acoustics are phenomenal. Everything was so well planned."
"I just think he's fabulous," said Lois Powell of Strasburg. "He's just by far, the most amazing performer I've ever seen. And what a place. Everything here is just top quality, from the restrooms right down to the seats."
"I've been a Penrod groupie for years," said Nancy Todd of Mount Vernon. "This is the perfect place to hear him sing. You can still smell the newness of the wood. It has that new car feel, and it is done with such great craftsmanship."
"I like the way they have the screens up there with the words to the songs," said Vick Stull of New Philadelphia. "I'm not a singer, but I like to follow along."
"We've seen about all the shows over at the Carlisle," added Judy Stull, Vick's wife. "This is so much nicer than over there. You can see so much better."
The grand opening event at Ohio Star Theater had been sold out for months, and the folks at Dutchman Hospitality are looking forward to bringing more shows down the road.
"The opening of the new Ohio Star Theater is the culmination of a dream and vision we have been working on for more than six years," said Mike Palmer, president of Dutchman Hospitality. "In 2012, we tentatively 'dipped our toe in the water' as we transformed the conference center of our Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek into a small theater-in-the-round, offering live musicals created and produced by Blue Gate Musicals from Nashville, Tennessee.
"Our new theater is designed to create an experience that will leave guests wishing for more," Palmer added. "And more is coming to the new Ohio Star Theater. More music. More stories. More laughter and tears. More of what we all experience when we enjoy arts and entertainment."
The new musical for 2017 will be "The Home Game," opening May 9. The Home Game is the story of a young Amish man who excels in baseball and receives an offer he can't refuse.
There will be three additional musicals in 2017: "The Confession," from Aug. 29 to Nov. 4; "Mennonite Girls Can Cook," from Sept. 6 to Nov. 4; "Our Christmas Dinner" from Nov. 9 to Dec. 16.
Tickets are available online or by calling 855-344-7547.
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.