Goshen News, Goshen, IN


August 30, 2012

'Mountain' musical

Show premieres Sept. at Bristol Opera House

BRISTOL — Susan South loves and admires Vera Sanders, a woman she’s gotten to know over the years.

For seven days in September, South will become Vera Sanders — again.

This is in the theatrical sense. South is reprising the Sanders role in the upcoming Elkhart Civic Theatre production of “Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming.” The bluegrass/gospel musical opens Sept. 7 at the Bristol Opera House.

Set in October 1945, “Homecoming” is the third in a trilogy telling the story of the Sanders family. Dennis Sanders (played by Zach Rivers) is being warmly welcomed home to North Carolina from World War II. He’s planning to take over pastoral duties at the local church from his brother-in-law, the Rev. Mervin Oglethorpe (Douglas J. Lunn).

Mervin and his wife, June (Karen Hoover), are headed out to minister at a small Texas church. According to the show synopsis, Mervin and June’s church community in North Carolina intends to send them out with a bang.

Vera is the matriarch of the Sanders family, joined in parental oversight by her husband Burl (Tom Doughty, also returning to the role). The upcoming Elkhart Civic Theatre shows mark South’s fourth time portraying Vera.

“It’s a role that I could do forever,” said South, an Elkhart-area native who’s been involved in local community theater productions for 37 years, most frequently with Elkhart Civic. She was first invited to play Vera in a 2000 “Smoke on the Mountain” run at the Round Barn Theatre in Nappanee.

South describes Vera Sanders as a strong woman who’s proud of her children and full of unconditional love.

“She’s just simple, with old-fashioned values, and I love that about her,” South said. “I wish I could be more like her.”

South said she’s seen “Smoke on the Mountain” productions where the Sanders can come off as baffoonish. What makes the Elkhart Civic Theatre show special, she feels, is that the Sanders are portrayed as very real people.

“...A very real family,” she said. “They just have a unique way of testifying the word of God through song and words.”

That family includes Rev. Oglethorpe, who married a Sanders daughter and has been embraced by the clan. Lunn describes his character as energetic and fun to play.

“He tries really hard to do the right thing, but sometimes he really puts his foot in his mouth and then he tries to get himself out and it just makes it worse,” Lunn said.

The cast also includes Kelsey Olsen as Denise and Josh Padgett as family black sheep Uncle Stanley. “Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming” is directed by Elkhart Civic Theatre Artistic Director John J. Shoup and assisted by Karen Johnston. The music director is Miriam Houck, and the vocal director is John McCreary.

The chorus is made up of Elise Davis, Dawn Blessing, Brandon Blessing, Carly Swendsen, Karen Johnston, Dallas Johnston, Lorri Krull, Jay Krull and Rachel Schrock.  

The orchestra consists of Miriam Houck on piano, John Nymeyer on gut-bucket bass, Chris Beyer on fiddle, Ann Noble on mandolin and banjo, and Steve Colagrassi on guitar.

Text Only
  • GN140724 Little Women 'Little Women' opens at Round Barn Tuesday NAPPANEE — Since 1868 ambitious fans of Louisa May Alcott’s novel have dreamed of being one of the March sisters. In the pages of Little Women, young and adolescent girls are able to read about the “normalization” of ambitious women by repeatedly reinforcing the importance of individuality and female vocation.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIBRARY NEWS: Hypnotherapist coming to Syracuse Angie Hernandez, certified Hypnotherapist, is presenting a session on using Emotional Freedom Technique, also called tapping, on from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. People are invited to a free class to experiment with this technique for self-healing. Nick Ortner, author of The Tapping Solution, says EFT is a type of meridian tapping that combines ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. Tapping utilizes the body’s energy meridian points by stimulating them with your fingertips.

    July 21, 2014

  • ENT GN0717 Buddy Guy 02 Blues legend Buddy Guy to perform at the Lerner in October On Saturday, Oct. 25, the Lerner Theatre hosts one of the most influential artists in the history of blues and rock ‘n roll.

    July 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • ENT 0714 library photo Candy science experiments at Milford Milford Public Library 101 N. Main St., 658-4312 Dial-A-Story, 658-9540 www.milford.lib.in.us Food and Fun Day The final food and fun day of summer will be July 23 and feature science experiments with candy. There are four sessions to choose from 10:

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140710 Jennie Sophia 02 Goshen High School grad Jennie Sophia takes lead in production of "Brigadoon" For Jennie Sophia, to play the lead role of Fiona MacLaren in Lerner & Lowe’s “Brigadoon” is a dream realized.

    July 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • Country/gospel sing underway at Buck Lake A Michiana Country/Gospel Weekend is underway at Buck Lake Ranch in Angola. Today there will be concerts all day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Bands scheduled to play today include: Backwoods Ramblers, Heartstrings Bluegrass, Heaven Bound, Aaron Stutzman (y

    June 27, 2014

  • ENT GN0626 hbo image 02 HBO drama probes the trauma of a missing 2 percent NEW YORK — Not long ago, 2 percent of the world’s population vanished. Quietly, instantly, with no provocation.This unfathomable loss continues to haunt all those left behind, including residents of the small New York town that serves as the setting

    June 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • ENT GN0626 eli wallach image Eli Wallach, veteran character actor, dies NEW YORK — Eli Wallach, the raspy-voiced character actor who starred in dozens of movies and Broadway plays over a remarkable and enduring career and earned film immortality as a conniving, quick-on-the-draw bandit in the classic Western "The Good, t

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140619 moe at ignition 10.jpg Stars align in Nashville to bring jam band, moe. to Goshen last week GOSHEN You got to love it when a plan comes together.Jason Samuel is on a five­?week sabbatical doing research for a music project. In Nashville, he’s at the home of a Sugar Hill Records senior radio rep. He’s in the same office as Sugar Hill managem

    June 22, 2014 7 Photos

  • GN140622 preservation hall concert 04.jpg CONCERT REVIEW: Preservation Hall Jazz Band proves again it's special

    For more than 50 years, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has blended the power and mystery of New Orleans jazz into a sound that seemingly blows your hair back and chases away your troubles. They're smooth. They're cool. They're as good as it gets in American artistry.

    June 21, 2014 8 Photos


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results