STERLING – It’s been called a “leg-slappin’, toe-tappin’, hand-clappin’, hoe-down of a story” and features music by popular folk singer Harry Chapin. It is the musical “Cotton Patch Gospel” which will be presented at Sterling’s Encounter Church at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 29 and 30 and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1. The show will feature three area musicians and a cast of eight.
The show is being directed by Sterling Encounter Church Pastor Wayne Beaver who will also be in the cast. Others in the cast include Jackie Beaver and Susan Edwards of Hutchinson, Micah Black and Mike Cresci of Sterling and Katrina Streit of Ellinwood.
Two cast members are from outside the area, Brooklyn Lovin of Shawnee Mission and Luke Schlake of Cincinnati, Ohio. Both are both former students of Beaver’s from his time teaching theatre at Cincinnati Christian High School.
The three musicians accompanying the show are Randy Key from Hutchinson on banjo, Bob Boltz of Sterling on guitar and Ben Decker of Sterling on bass.
One critic noted, “As much as I loved ‘Godspell’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Cotton Patch Gospel’ wins the gold medal. It is funny, true to the gospels, offbeat in a helpful sort of way, and profoundly inspirational. I was moved and inspired by this modern-day version of the timeless message of The Gospel of Matthew.”
Tom Key and Russell Treyz wrote the book for the musical based on a book by Clarence Jordan entitled Cotton Patch Version of Matthew and John by Clarence Jordan. Chapin wrote both the music and lyrics for the show.
Advance tickets are not necessary. There will be no admission charge for the show but a free-will offering will be taken. The show will be at Sterling’s Encounter Church, 407 North Sixth Street.