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Another opportunity for local theatre

By Roger Thomas, for the SNAP

There is another opportunity this weekend to attend the theatre.

I was contacted last weekend so that I might help publicize a special production that is coming up this weekend.

First, you should know that there is no charge for this event. You should also know that they will accept donations, but all the donations will go to one of two sources: Stanly Community Christian Ministry or the Humane Society. The funds raised will be divided between both of these worthy non-profit organizations.

Do you want to know more?

There are a group of individuals who will be performing a show of music and story-telling at Central Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in downtown Albemarle on Second Street.

This production will be Friday and Saturday. Both the performances will start at 7 p.m.

So you may be wondering what production is being produced. Well, I will tell you. The program for this fundraiser is “The Cotton Patch Gospels of Matthew and John.”

I saw a production of this when I was a young man living in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid-1980s.

I also have several of the “Cotton Patch Gospel” books in my personal library. Some people might find some of the changes in the stories to be odd.

One example is that in the Cotton Patch Gospel, Jesus is born in Georgia. There are several more twists like that along the way, but they are all reverently inspired.

I am sure this fundraising production will be inspiring as well.

Gary Moran is directing this production and most everyone knows how skilled he is in making a stage come to life. He and I sat down this past week, and I am confidant that this will be a great way to spend an evening and offer some help to our community.

Two other positive aspects to this production is the five-voice choir and the six-piece band. These two groups will be providing the toe-tapping music, including country-western, bluegrass and some pop.

When our conversation was winding down, I asked Gary a question I often ask when I am interviewing someone about a production. I am not sure when I started to do this, or why I do it, it just helps me to understand what the artist wants to achieve. When I posed the question to Gary he paused and then gave me four words fairly quickly.

My question is always this: “Give me a few adjectives that you think describe this play?”

Here are Gary’s words: “Moving, upbeat, comical and inspirational.”

What more could you want on a Friday or Saturday night?

Except maybe a way to help out our community.

When I consider those words and the “Cotton Patch Gospel” that I saw three decades ago, I can easily endorse this production.

Come for the music. Come for the narrative. Come to help SCCM and the Humane Society. Come to laugh, be moved, be inspired and may your spirits be raised.

Or, as Gary described it to me, “It is two hours of a toe-tapping good time.”

Remember this production will be at Central Methodist Church Fellowship Hall this coming Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Any donation for SCCM or the Humane Society will get you in the house.

Roger W. Thomas of Albemarle reviews films for The Stanly News & Press. He also enjoys local theatre.