On Friday, Taproot Theatre presents “Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming,” the third and final installment in the 20-year bluegrass gospel series about the Sanders family.
“Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming” takes place on an October evening in 1945, after World War Two. The Sanders family – who’ve become treasured for their musical talents – gather to sing together for what might be the last time, as they’re sending Pastor Oglethorpe and his wife, June, on a new journey and singing Dennis Sanders in as the new pastor.
Candace Vance, Theresa Holmes and Edd Key. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.
Written by Connie Ray and conceived by Alan Bailey, with musical arrangements by Mike Craver, it’s directed by Scott Nolte. It runs July 10 – Aug. 8, with low-price previews on July 8 & 9, plus a pay-what-you-can performance on July 15 at Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St.
According to Taproot, the original “Smoke on the Mountain” was so popular, its four-week run was extended to four months. It first opened in New Jersey in 1988, then played off-Broadway for more than a year, and was the most-produced musical in the U.S. between 1991-2001. The second installment, “Sanders Family Christmas,” ran for two consecutive holiday seasons at Taproot in 1999 and 2000.