Long-time Barter Theatre favorite Eugene Wolf brings his one-man show, The Book of Mamaw, to Flying Anvil Theatre’s virtual stage from September 24th through October 5th. The show is full of stories, songs and sketches about growing up in Greeneville, Tennessee, with a surprising spiritual path of love, kindness and compassion.
Wolf’s mamaw was Bernice Rader, a Church of Christ grandmother who recognized Eugene’s love of performing at an early age and guided him on his way. It’s an unorthodox story of a woman who tried to capture Patty Hearst and once advised her grandson that if he was going to make it in show business he’d better, “get a dress and wear it!” Wolf made his television debut on the Cas Walker show thanks to Bernice. Since then, he has had a varied performing career, as a member of the acting company at Barter Theatre for over 21 years, as half of the country duo The Brother Boys (with Ed Snodderly), who have appeared on albums with Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas, as well as solo concerts and films.
Wolf says Bernice was a natural subject for the show. “Mamaw was funny in spite of herself. She’d take me along when she went to sell Avon and make me get up and sing Loretta Lynn songs. I was an eight-year-old singing about my lying, cheating, drinking husband. But I didn’t care. Mamaw sanctioned it, so it was all right.”
Reviewers have called The Book of Mamaw “storytelling at its best.”
Filmed on stage, Flying Anvil is taking another step into their Virtual Mini Season by bringing back The Book of Mamaw, which last appeared on their stage in 2018. General Manager Chris Freeman says the play was the perfect opportunity to try something new. “Since March we’ve been wanting to produce a show on stage again. The Book of Mamaw gives us that chance- it’s intimate enough to feel right in your living room, safe for actors and crew, and we still get to sprinkle in some of that theatre magic we know and love.”
The Book of Mamaw is sponsored by Bill Cherry. It is filmed on stage and will be broadcast from September 24th through October 5th- Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm. Streaming Passes are available at flyinganviltheatre.com.