Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

June 12, 2013

Singing Sanders Family returns to Beef & Boards

INDIANAPOLIS — One of the most unforgettably entertaining families to ever step foot on the Beef & Boards stage returns this summer for more bluegrass gospel fun.

Back by unprecedented demand and opening July 5, the musical “Smoke on the Mountain” signals the return of the lovable Singing Sanders Family.

On stage through Aug. 18, “Smoke on the Mountain” tells the story of a Saturday Night Gospel Sing at a country church in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains in 1938. The show features two dozen bluegrass songs played and sung by the Sanders Family, a traveling group making its return to performing after a five-year hiatus. Pastor Oglethorpe, the enthusiastic minister of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, has enlisted the Sanders Family in his efforts to bring his tiny congregation into “the modern world.”

Between songs, each family member “witnesses” — telling a story about an important event in their life. Though they try to appear perfect in the eyes of a congregation who wants to be inspired by their songs, one thing after another goes awry and they reveal their true — and hilariously imperfect — natures. By the show’s end, the endearing members of the Sanders Family have revealed their weaknesses and allowed the audience to share in their triumphs.

Returning from the original 2007 cast are Sarah Hund as June Sanders; Pam Pendleton as June’s mother, Vera Sanders; and John Vessels as Rev. Mervin Oglethorpe. Playing Burl Sanders, the patriarch of the family, is Bobby Taylor, while Brian Gunter plays his brother, Stanley Sanders, and Ashlie Roberson and Keith Potts play his twin children, Denise and Dennis Sanders.

There are 53 performances of “Smoke on the Mountain” scheduled at Beef & Boards, 9301 N. Michigan Road. Tickets range from $37.50 to $62.50 and include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, fruit and salad bar, and select beverages. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. Parking is free.

For reservations call the Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre Box Office at 872-9664. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays.

For a complete show schedule, visit the website BeefAndBoards.com.

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