Less Traveled

Page Ivey



No phantom, no opera, but definitely entertaining

Posted 1/21/2013 3:11:00 PM

The first time I ever went to Abbeville, it was to enjoy an evening at the opera … The Abbeville Opera House, that is. We went over to see a rousing little romantic comedy set to music, had dinner before the show and made it back to Columbia around midnight. 

It is a wonderful weekend or daytrip with the bonus of being able to walk around a vibrant small-town downtown.

The Abbeville Opera House was built more than 100 years ago and began life as a stop for touring plays, musicals and vaudeville productions.

When movies replaced vaudeville as the primary public entertainment, the Opera House was converted into a theater. It was abandoned in the 1950s then restored in the next decade to become the home of the Abbeville Community Theater.

The Opera House became home to Michael Genevie’s traveling theater company in 1979 and now hosts about three dozen live shows a year with the occasional traveling show stopping by.

Shows are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a 3 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets are $17. Reservations are recommended. The box office is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Agatha Christie’s murder mystery “Ten Little Indians” opens Jan. 25 and plays for three weekends.

That is followed in March by “A Southern Exposure,” a play by Kelley Kingston-Strayer that tells the story of a modern-day Kentucky woman reconnecting with her family after moving away to pursue love in New York City.

The Abbeville Opera House, (864) 366-2157, is located at 100 Court Square. 

Abbeville Bonus: The Village Grill is just a short walk from the Abbeville Opera House. The restaurant’s specialties include rotisserie chicken and slow-cooked pork ribs as well as a selection of locally grown produce.

The Village Grill (864) 366-2500, 110 Trinity St. Open 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday (closes at 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday).