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Smoke on the Mountain

The Singing Sanders Family, a group of talented musicians, visits a tiny church in 1938. The result is a fun night of bluegrass gospel music with a huge dose of humor. The show premiered at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in 2007 and quickly became a huge crowd favorite. The theatre hosted two sequels to the show in the following years and now has brought back the original.

The plucky family is made up of half a dozen unique individuals. The talented group plays 28 different instruments throughout the show; everything from a tambourine to an upright bass make their way into the songs. The patriarch Burl and Vera, his scripture-spouting wife have three children. There are the twins, Denise and Dennis, both quick to explain who the boy is and who the girl is. Then there’s the delightful June, the only family member without a gift for song.  Burl’s brother Stanley is the final piece in the puzzle.

Much of the original cast returns to reprise their roles. Beef & Board’s favorites John Vessels and Sarah Hund are back as Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe and June Sanders respectively. Both actors provide some of the show’s best comic relief. This production introduces a new Stanley, one who brings a distinctive version of the character to the stage. Brian Gunter plays the world-weary Stanley with an earnestness that’s touching. He comes across like a weathered country singer, beaten down by life, but trying to get back on the right track.

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church is set in its straight-laced ways and the rollicking music pushes its patrons to the edge. Some of the show’s fun songs and medleys, like Life’s Railway to Heaven and Smoke on the Mountain are infectious; the audience can’t help but clap along. If you loved it the first time around or if you kicked yourself for missing it, here’s your chance to return to simpler times. Pull up a pew and enjoy the music of the Sanders Family.

Don't Miss the Show

Performances: The show runs until Aug. 18. 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 $37.50 to $62.50 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea and the buffet. 

*Photo Courtesy of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre