Friday, May 18

Theater Review: Beef and Boards Smoke on the Mountain

Get on your Sunday go-to-meeting clothes, grab your favorite aunt (I took my Aunt Peggy) and find your pew at the Church of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis. I am not sure how the folks up there continually find such great talent, but with Smoke on the Mountain, they truly did it again.

When the good Reverend Thorpe (John Vessels) enters, you feel as if you have been transported to a southern church, circa 1930s. Although you will have no problem noticing the beautiful vocals of the talented Dennis Sanders (Andrew M. Ross), you will be swept up in the moment with Rev. Thorpe’s southern-style sermonizin’.

However, the main reason you've gotta go to this wonderful comedy, is you have got to go enjoy the delightful thief of the night, June Sanders. This gifted actress (Sarah Hund) mesmerized the entire audience with her antics; stealing the show at every turn. You start out counting how many instruments she pulls out to play, and give up, because it is too difficult to count tambourines, etc., when you are crying from laughing so hard. When she attempts to sign, making it up as she goes, she takes the spotlight, staying true to character, even while on the sidelines.

The Sunday pitch-in style dinner is filling, without being fussy, and the dessert tray comes to you (you cannot beat that!). The specially-designed tiered seating at Beef & Boards, allows you to sit anywhere without missing anything – no matter the ticket price. This is helpful for anyone wanting a special night out, without breaking the budget. The wait staff was friendly — helping my aunt carry her food — because she uses a cane. They made each of us feel special and there was a cozy atmosphere to the theatre.

Originally published in West Side Community News and West Indianapolis Community News newspapers.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.