Fate may have played a small role in how “Smoke on the Mountain” came to be the latest production at the May River Theatre.
When longtime director Scott Grooms first saw the musical comedy in Branson, Mo., he thought the production would be a good fit for the Bluffton theater company so he decided to bring the script to the board’s attention.
“It fits on the stage really well,” said Grooms, when reached by phone recently.
As it turns out, theater co-founder, Jodie Dupuis, who died in 2013, had already presented the show to the company as a possibility years before.
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“So we thought this would be a nice show to bring to May River,” Grooms said.
Set in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains in 1938, the comedy tells the story of the Sanders Family, a traveling group of gospel musicians.
The story unfolds at a Saturday night church “gospel sing” and features more than 30 classic gospel and bluegrass tunes, such as “I’ll Fly Away” and “I Saw the Light.”
Grooms said the set will have a 1930s “country look” to it and costumes will be authentic to the period.
What’s more, audiences will be encouraged to sing along and interact between numbers as family members reveal their hilarious back stories.
A real bluegrass band comprised of several May River Theatre veterans plus some new members, including several young performers, will round out the show.
“It’s a strong cast,” Grooms said. “We're really happy with everyone involved. …(And) it’s not the cast you'd usually see at May River.”
It’s a strong cast. We're really happy with everyone involved. …(And) it’s not the cast you'd usually see at May River.
Scott Grooms, longtime director with May River Theatre company
And the brand of tongue in cheek comedy is the kind you can take the whole family too, Grooms said.
“The actual script says they'll be walking a little lighter (by the end of the show),” he said. “They’ll walk out smiling and happy. I'll guarantee that.”
If You Go
“Smoke on the Mountain” opens Fridayand runs through March 6. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets are $25.
Reservations may be made Monday through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by calling the box office at 843-815-5581.
The theater is at 20 Bridge St., Bluffton.
For details visit www.mayrivertheatre.com.