July 15, 2008
Bluegrass gospel songs and sarcastic sass don't often go hand-in-hand, but in the newest Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre show they work together like peanut butter and jelly. "Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming" is a sequel to last year's sleeper hit "Smoke on the Mountain." The hilarious show's success spread through word-of-mouth and now the entire cast has returned to reprise their roles as the Sanders Family Singers.
Each of the characters, from the scripture-quoting Vera to Dennis, the preacher with stage fright, return exactly as last year's audiences will remember them. The actors slipped easily back into their roles. They also had no problem moving from instrument to instrument during the show. The cast members played the guitar, banjo, piano, upright bass, fiddle and more; proving their musical versatility with each number.
The show picks up seven years after the original "Smoke" production. The Sanders family has undergone some changes, but have reunited for one last family sing. Sarah Hund is back as the non-musical Sanders, June, and her attempts at sign language and personal percussion section are wonderful crowd pleasers.
"A Little at a Time" is one of the show's best examples of the excellent family dynamic. Andrew M. Ross, as Dennis, particular shines during his jazzy rendition of "Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho."
Not all musicals, no matter how good, deserve a sequel. But "Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming" is a welcome return to the small town church and the family that the audience can't help but love. With its great blend of humor and heart, the show is sure to leave audiences wanting more.
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The show runs until Aug. 6. Doors open for evening performances at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The buffet is served at 6:30 and the show begins at 8 p.m. One Sundays the buffet is served at 5:30 and the show begins at 7 p.m.
For Weekday matinees doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the buffet is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The show begins at 1 p.m. For Sunday matinees doors open at 12 p.m. and the buffet is served from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The show begins at 1:30 p.m. For Sunday evenings doors open at 5 p.m. and the buffet is served at 5:30 and the show begins at 7 p.m.
Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Prices range from $33 to $55 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea and the buffet.
*Photo Courtesy of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre