My husband, Doug, and I were involved in the NMSU-A Theater on the Hill production of "Smoke on the Mountain", a musical comedy set in 1938 in a Baptist church in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The elderly pastor has died and a new young one has taken his place with big ideas of bringing the congregation into the 20th century. He has arranged for the first ever Saturday Night Gospel Sing delivered by the Sanders Family, a traveling group making its return to performing after a five-year hiatus. Doug plays the part of the church custodian and I am one of two wealthy spinster sisters (generous benefactors of said church) who sit in the "Amen" corner of the church and keep tabs on proper conduct. The play ran for two three-day weekends November 14-16 and 21-23, 2014.
|Miss Maude (Monica Helm) and Miss Myrtle (Carla Kerr)|
|Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe (Michael Carrillo) has deluded himself into thinking that the sisters agree with his changes|
|L to R: Vera Sanders (Glenda Elser), Dennis Sanders (Brian Braga), June Sanders (Monica Harris), Burl Sanders (Jesh Barker), Denise Sanders (Desiree Nielsen) and Stanley Sanders (Rod Barnes). Pastor Oglethorpe is in background.|
|Dennis whispers something to Denise (they're the twins) as June looks on and the pastor looks disturbed|
|Dennis and Denise sing and illustrate "Christian Cowboy" while Burl joins in singing|
|L to R: David Prose (Cousin Sam Sanders), Don Thorp (Uncle Joe Sanders), Vera at the piano, Pastor Oglethorpe, Dennis, Denise, Burl, Stanley, Miss Maude and Miss Myrtle (hidden behind Denise is June)|
|Dennis, aspiring to become a preacher, practices saving his dog|
|L to R: Uncle Joe, June (signing "lamb"), Pastor Oglethorpe, Vera, Dennis, Burl, Denise and Stanley singing "Are You Washed in the Blood"|
|L to R: Miss Maude, Miss Myrtle (fainting), Pastor Oglethorpe, Dennis and Burl during the singing of "I'll Live a Million Years"|
|Beginning of second act, the sisters trying to decide whether to stay and June and Denise looking properly chastised after they were perceived as dancing during the last song|
|L to R: Vera, June, Stanley, Denise, Burl and Dennis with Stanley singing "Everyone Home but Me"|
|L to R: June and Pastor Oglethorpe listening as Vera tells a children's story about a couple of June bugs|
|Vera reacting when the imaginary June bug breaks the string, landing on her, with Stanley reacting in background|
|I don't think I need to tell you what is happening to that June bug here|
|Church Custodian (Doug Kerr)|
Smoke on the Mountain was written by Connie Ray, conceived by Alan Bailey and musical arrangements were by Mike Craver and Mark Hardwick.
This play was well received in Alamogordo considering that it is not as well known here as in the more southern states. There were many compliments from theater attendees. It ran for two weekends on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees. After the last matinee, one lady was heard to remark, "I can't believe this is the last show. I just want to go and tell everyone to come see it."
Thanks to Douglas A. Kerr, Photographer for the wonderful pictures and I took the one of him.
This is all I have to say for now.