IF YOU GO
What: "Smoke on the Mountain."
When: 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and Aug. 10-11.
Where: Roland Hayes Concert Hall, UTC Fine Arts Center, 725 Vine St.
Admission: $16 adults, $12 students/seniors, $11 groups.
As many times as area theatergoers have seen June Sanders sign the songs in the venerable "Smoke on the Mountain," they've never seen them signed by the actress portraying the character in the Closed Door Entertainment cast.
According to producer/director J.C. Smith, Grace Kling, who's new to the company, had never seen the show.
"She took the script and the score and made her own language," he said. "It's so much fun to watch."
The production will be offered this weekend and next in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Fine Arts Center.
Smith said it is a fundraiser for Closed Door Entertainment's presentation of the musical "Grease" at the Tivoli Theatre in September.
In the Sanders saga, father Burl, mother Vera, Burl's brother, Stanley, daughter June and twins Dennis and Denise have traveled to Mount Pleasant, N.C., circa 1938, to offer a mixture of energetic numbers, plaintive hymns and soulful praise songs for the pastor, the Rev. Mervyn Oglethorpe, and his flock.
They deliver nearly 30 gospel tunes, from the known ("Rock of Ages," "Church in the Wildwood" and "I'll Fly Away") to the obscure ("Filling Station" and "Christian Cowboy").
The show originally was scheduled this past spring but was canceled "at the 11th hour," Smith said. Of that cast, only Kling, who is also the production company's marketing director, and Jonathan Ingle are new.
The others are Smith, Paul Stone, Tonya Lively, Maddie Brashier, Chuck Nalley, Darlene Stone and Mark Morgan.
Smith said one especially good thing about "Smoke on the Mountain" is that it is neither a drama nor a comedy. The different voices make the show unique each time a new company performs it.
"Everybody's voice is different than everybody else's," he said of the family-friendly production. "Everybody has their little pizazz, their little flavor."
A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Ronald McDonald House.