Wednesday, June 30, 2010

People On Stage Playing People On Stage

Acacia Theatre presents SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN

By Russ Bickerstaff
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 It’s not entirely uncommon for actors to find themselves onstage playing musicians onstage. One finds oneself watch a musical that’s been fashioned around the format of a concert by musician characters performing . . . there’s usually a plot of some sort stringing it all together. Roger Beane (Route 66, Lana Mae’s Honky-Tonk Laundry) was always particularly good at this sort of thing. Acacia Theatre Company brings just such a show to the stage next week as it presents Alan Bailey and Connie Ray’s Smoke On The Mountain.

The musical is set in a church in rural North Carolina in 1938. The Reverend has invited the Sanders Family Singers to perform an uplifting evening of music. 27 songs—gospel standards—are performed in and around the family’s colorful stories about lives of colorful characters.

The show is directed by Acacia Artistic Director Janet Bouman Peterson. Here she is speaking about the show directly from the press release:

“This show is just an immense amount of fun,” Bouman Peterson said.  “The music is gospel standards.  The story has a nice family feel to it. “The characters are realistic,” she added.  “Not everything in the Sanders family is as golden as they try to present it, but you see that they really do love and care about each other.  They’re trying to share their talents with others and provide entertainment and encouragement and lift their audience’s spirits.  But, they’re human and they fail sometimes.  Ultimately, family and faith keep them together, despite their frailties and idiosyncrasies.”

Acacia Theatre’s production of Smoke On The Mountain runs July 9th -18th at Concordia University’s Todd Wehr Auditorium.

 

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