Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Smoke on the Mountain Returns for Third Time

The good news is that its 1937 and the Sanders family have come to town with their patented gospel concert. None of that newfangled stuff. We’re going to hear nothing but foot stomping, back slapping favorites, songs like “The Church in the Wildwood,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder,” and let’s not forget the “Blood” medley: “Nothing But The Blood,” “There is Power in the Blood,” and “Are You Washed in the Blood.”

Ain’t it great to see such a saved family setting an example for all of us, singing about the gospel and living the gospel in their lives? It don’t get better than this.

Only it does -- because when “Smoke on the Mountain” comes to the Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres, not for the first, nor the second, but for the third time, we not only get some of the best southern gospel and bluegrass hymns that were every written, but we get something better -- the reassurance that the good news is not for perfect people, but for flawed people perfectly loved by God. Amber Burgess has worked on the last two productions and is directing the current revival. She said, "In addition to the professional instrumental musicians, their voices blend perfectly for the range of songs this unique show requires."

“Smoke on the Mountain” would be great fun, even if it were only a concert showcasing the wonderful ethnic heritage of these songs. But one by one we see the members of this perfect family are broken, just like the rest of us, yet despite this they are still determined to share the good news in song along with their personal stories. This particular musical is a great piece of redemption, and an answer to those who think they must always look perfect in public.

This off-Broadway show, first work shopped in 1988, opened in 1990, and has since become a perennial favorite of the musical circuit. In the show Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in the Smoky Mountains has invited the singing Sanders family to share their songs and their witness. After a five year hiatus the group has come together again, and Pastor Mervin anticipates a glorious evening. It turns out he’s absolutely correct, though not in the way he expected.

The cast includes Ryan A. Schisler as Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe, along with Paul Kerr, Amber Burgess, Perry Orfanella, Jeff Raab, Jocelyn Longquist, and Katherine Yacko as the Sanders Family. It is directed by Amber Burgess. The show, which features over twenty-five songs, has been previously performed at the Round Barn in 2000 and 2005.

According to Amber Burgess, the show's director, "Smoke on the Mountain is difficult for many theatres. The variety of musical talent required is daunting." She added, "Our cast hails from New York City, Louisville, Arkansas, and two from Florida."

“Smoke on the Mountain,” conceived by Alan Bailey and written by Connie Ray, will run from September 8 through October 18. For tickets and reservations call 1-800-800-4942.

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