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Strauss Theatre Presents: "Smoke on the Mountain"

Melinda Young Stuart
"Smoke on the Mountain" is set in North Carolina in the Smoky Mountain range.

Strauss Theatre presents "Smoke on the Mountain," a story about a gospel singing family traveling to a North Carolina church, February 15-24.

Set in 1938, "Smoke on the Mountain" plays out at a Saturday Night Gospel Sing in a country church in the Smoky Mountains. The show includes two dozen bluegrass songs played and sung by the Sanders Family, a traveling group. The Sanders Family was brought in by Pastor Oglethorpe to help bring the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church congregation into "the modern world." The musicians tell their life stories to the congregation between songs, sharing their strengths and weaknesses with humorous anecdotes.

The show features traditional gospel instruments such as guitars, piano, and a washboard, with actors playing the music live on stage. While some of the actors who auditioned were musicians, many learned their instruments for the roles they portray in the show. The show features "songs that a lot of people have been singing all their lives," according to Anita Breen, the General Manager for Strauss Theatre.

"Smoke on the Mountain" premieres with Patron Night February 15, and then opens to the public February 16, 17, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee February 18. Tickets and more information is available on the Strauss Theatre Center website or at 318-323-6681.