SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS Onstage At Cumberland County Playhouse For 15th Year

SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS Onstage At Cumberland County Playhouse For 15th Year

Curtain's up on Cumberland County Playhouse's 15th annual presentation of A Sanders Family Christmas-the holiday-flavored sequel to the enormously popular Smoke on the Mountain-a down-home musical filled with faith, family and old-fashioned fun and starring a cast of Playhouse favorites. 

The setting is Christmas Eve 1941 and the always unpredictable Sanders Family gathers at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church for one last holiday sing before son Dennis ships out for boot camp. A Sanders Family Christmas opened November 1 and continues through December 22.

CCP's 2012 production will once again star Playhouse favorites Jason Ross and Patty Payne as Mervin and June, along with co-director Daniel Black as Burl, co-director/music director Lauren Marshall as Vera and Emily Woods as Denise. Joining the Sanders family for the first time are current company members Douglas Waterbury-Tieman as Dennis and John Dobbratz as everyone's favorite reformed ne'er-do-well, Uncle Stanley.

Also onstage in Crossville is Big River, running on the Mainstage through November 9. Upcoming productions include Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, opening on November 16, and Mandy Barnett will kick off her Winter Wonderland concert tour at The Playhouse on November 23 at 8 p.m. Mike Stone performs a special benefit concert on November 29 at 7 p.m.

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor outstanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.


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