Friday, January 01, 2010

Oops, I did it again. Again.

Hey, remember when I was in Fiddler on the Roof? And I had to step into a more involved role because someone else dropped out?

Good times.

And it's happened again.

A couple weeks ago, I sang with the choir at Broadway UMC, the site of so much vocational and personal turmoil and associated whatnot for me. It was a great piece that they were singing and it was a joy to be a part of it. And my experience with the choir had always been entirely turmoil-free, so I figured it would be a positive experience, which it totally was.

Anyway, the music director at Broadway got in touch a few days ago and told me that someone had to step out of their upcoming musical production and asked if I would be willing to step in.

Because ah'm jist a boy who cain't say no, I said yes and picked up my script and score this evening. I will be portraying Dennis Sanders, the youngest (by 4 minutes) member of the Sanders Family Singers in "Smoke on the Mountain." Here's a rundown of what the show -- an old-timey country-gospel tour de force -- is about:
The play takes place in the sanctuary of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina, located just west of Hickory near the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a Saturday night in June, 1938. The United States is in the last years of the Great Depression. Organized religion is at its peak.

Mount Pleasant's principal industries are farming and pickle production. The Mount Pleasant Pickle Plant has lately begun laying people off at an alarming rate due to the economy. The factory makes everyone and everything in Mount Pleasant smell of vinegar and dill.

Mount Pleasant Baptist has a membership of 63 -- 64 when Becca Robinson gets baptized next Sunday. Saturday Night Sings by families of gospel singers have become the much needed and highly appreciated entertainment of the time. Gospel-singing families traditionally sing at one church on Saturday night, then do a few guest appearances on Sunday mornings at other churches in the area. The Sanders are appearing tonight after a five-year hiatus from the hospel-singing circuit. They travel in an ancient bus with "The Sanders Family" hand-painted on the side.
There doesn't seem to be so much of a plot other than "This quirky gospel-singing family is showing up at a church (the audience is the congregation) and sings a bunch of loosely-connected country-gospel-type songs," many of which are familiar to the churchy and non-churchy alike. (Although it's unlikely you've heard my breakout number, "Christian Cowboy.") (And I am not kidding.) But it looks like a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to being a part of it.

So, since I'm already two rehearsals behind and we're rehearsing at noon tomorrow, right now I am mainlining the soundtrack CD I got earlier this evening, reviewing the script and the score, and trying not to get overwhelmed by the fact that I don't know jack about bluegrass gospel music.

If you'd like to come -- and I think you'll like it, so you should totally come -- here are the details:

Part of the Broadway Presents Performing Arts Series

WHERE: Broadway United Methodist Church / 609 E. 29th Street, Indianapolis

WHEN: Friday, January 22, 8:00pm & Saturdsay, January 23, 8:00pm

HOW MUCH: Open to the public and presented free of charge; donations accepted


Ket said...

Everything -- and I do mean EVERYTHING -- about this is full of awesome.

I always knew you were a cowboy. ;-)

Esmerelda said...

Woo hoo. You go!

K.T. said...

I LOVE "Smoke on the Mountain". I even own the soundtrack. Perhaps even my Mom will come because she loves it too. I can't wait!

Nancy said...

Sounds like fun - you will be outstanding I'm sure!

Nancy said...

you will give an Oscar-worthy performance I'm sure!