Maine State Music Theatre and Portland Stage will once again team up to present a co-production of “Smoke on the Mountain” Aug. 2-28.
The show tells the hilarious and heartwarming story of a Saturday Night Gospel Sing at a country church in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains in 1938. The show features two dozen rousing bluegrass songs played and sung by the Sanders Family, a traveling group making its return to performing after a five-year hiatus.
Pastor Oglethorpe, the young and enthusiastic minister of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, has enlisted the Sanders Family in his efforts to bring his tiny congregation into “the modern world.” Between songs, each family member “witnesses” – telling a story about an important event in their life. Though they try to appear perfect in the eyes of a congregation who wants to be inspired by their songs, one thing after another goes awry and they reveal their true – and hilariously imperfect – natures. By the evening’s end, the Sanders Family have endeared themselves to us by revealing their weaknesses and allowing us to share in their triumphs.
The cast includes John Vessels Jr. (Rev. Mervin Oglethorpe), Larry Tobias (Burl Sanders), April Lee Uzarski (Vera Sanders), Andrew Crowe (Stanley Sanders), Elleon Dobias (Denise Sanders), Daniel Emond (Dennis Sanders), Sarah Hund (June Sanders).
The show is directed by Jeff Stockberger with set design by Anita Stewart (also artistic director of Portland Stage).
Performances take place at Portland Stage 25 Forest Ave., Portland. For tickets, visit www.portlandstage.org or call 207-774-0465.
Please note the following masking policy for Smoke on the Mountain at Portland Stage: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday masks are recommended; Thursday and Sunday masks are required. Subject to change based on COVID risk levels in Cumberland County. Portland Stage is air conditioned and has state of the art air purification system.
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