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“Outdoor pageant a bit dated”

The Stephen Foster Story
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Stephen Foster Story is a broadway-style show about the life of America's first composer, Stephen Collins Foster. The performance takes place in My Old Kentucky Home State Park at the J. Dan Talbot Amphitheatre. The grounds on which the theatre lies once belonged to the Rowan family, who were cousins of Stephen Foster, and is home to Federal Hill, the plantation house that inspired the state song. Some of Foster's biggest hits such as Oh Susannah, Camptown Races, Suwannee River, & My Old Kentucky Home help to tell the tale of his struggle to become the first true composer this country knows, and also to find love among the hardships.
Reviewed August 5, 2014

Interesting in that they have performed this play for over 50 years. the costumes were nice and the actors decent. But it was a bit long given that so many of the tunes were so out of date. It was enjoyable hearing the standards, but the play could have been cut by half hour and would have been more enjoyable.

2  Thank ccheath54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 103 of 172 reviews

Reviewed August 2, 2014

Since my kids are older, I hesitated to buy tickets for this performance as they have gotten much pickier over the years. I decided to go ahead with the ticket purchase and am glad I did. The show was very professionally staged, costumes were beautiful and singers all exceptionally talented. I can't imagine going near Bardstown and not stopping in to see this show. While we saw a lot of interesting things while in the area, this show was definitely the highlight.

6  Thank 730megan123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2014 via mobile

My family has passed through the Louisville area several times, but have never ventured far from that little city. The 50 minute drive to Bardstown for the Stephen Foster Story is the best decision we have made in the area. The amphitheater is in a state park far enough from larger city lights that one look up during the show and see stars. With the frogs and crickets singing along and lightning bugs flashing in the sky, the show itself is enchanting. The acting and singing is of an unexpected caliber for regional theater, and the story itself illuminates a little slice of American history in a new way. This is one show that leaves you singing all the way home.

12  Thank NinjaPrincess2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Billy B, Public Relations Manager at The Stephen Foster Story, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2014

Thank you so very much for your review of The Stephen Foster Story! We are thrilled that you and your family had such a wonderful time in Bardstown under the stars. I would like to ask permission to use this review on our website if that would be okay with you? We love to show audience reactions, and yours would be perfect. Please send me an email at billyb@stephenfoster.com if that is something you would agree to.

Thank you so much, and thanks again for your review!

Billy Bass
Media & Development Coordinator
The Stephen Foster Story

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

I have been to many outdoor dramas (Unto These Hills, The Lost Colony, Tecumseh, & Blue Jacket). This one was much more of a musical than a historical account as the other ones were because of course, it was about the songwriter Stephen Foster. The costumes and production itself was first rate with a wonderful set of very talented performers doing many of his songs in different settings. The amphitheater was very nice with comfortable seating and facilities. They also give a discount on tickets if you have AAA.

3  Thank Mary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2014

I had telephoned the box office a couple of days before we were thinking of going to see whether we could wait to get tickets at the box office, or if there was a chance they could sell out on the Saturday evening of the July 4th weekend, and I was told they usually have tickets available since they have 1500 seats. We went to the box office after arriving in Bardstown and used our AAA discount to save $2.00 on each ticket. We arrived about 8:00 PM, 30 minutes before show time, and it was not crowded at all. There were probably 300 to 400 people; there were definitely more seats empty than occupied, and only the first few rows of the two side sections had occupants. It was a little sad that there wasn't a larger crowd on a holiday weekend. The show, including cast, costumes, and music, was good. It ran an hour, then there was a 10 to 15 minute intercession, before the play resumed then ended at 10:30 PM. There was an additional cost for a program instead of a playbill being provided.

4  Thank eatshoptravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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