Christ Church Players recently wrapped up their final rehearsals for this weekend's performance of "The Old Time Radio Show." The musical is a family friendly trip that takes the audience from the 20s through modern day.
"In this transient society we're all a little nostalgic for the days when the entire family would sit together in front of the radio. It's a step back in time," said Musical Director Jennifer Carlson Jordan. The show certainly accomplishes that musical part of the journey, with an in-house chorus to sing the "advertisements."
Christ Church is an Episcopalian church in the heart of downtown Norcross with an active congregation of approximately 300. It is also home to a lot of musical talent.
The varied acts include solo favorites, such as "At Last" and "Someone To Watch Over Me," and ensemble pieces, like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," in which the cast was quite literally dancing in the aisles.
The cast is accompanied by excellent musicians. Don Papenbrock plays a large portion of the show on the piano. Also making an appearance are a banjo, plucked by David Duke (no relation to sax player and co-director) and mandolin played by Don Lundy in the gospel piece "I'll Fly Away."
Musical numbers are not the only thing driving the show, though. The action is kept moving by emcee Ken Allen. This is Ken's first time on stage and he said he is happy to be working with everyone from the congregation.
All the writing and editing was done by Co-Director David Duke, who is an Emmy award-winning independent filmmaker and was also an organizer of the first filmmakers' showcase in Norcross. He also plays a mean saxaphone.
Duke has written some humor into the show, including a very clever take on internet dating that is sure to get the audience rolling. Another great moment is towards the end when a humorous take on "Modern Major General" is used to describe to us just what an Episcopalian is and isn't.
Duke said that he and Carlson Jordan met two years ago at church and realized that they had the same artistic vision and Christ Church Players was born out of that collaboration. Christ Church Players grew rather organically as they realized what a talented congregation they had.
The biggest reason they do these shows is to "get some community involvement and know our fellow parishoners better," said Ceci Duke, Rector of Christ Church.
The show runs this Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Christ Church, located at 400 Holcomb Bridge Rd in Norcross. Ticket information can be obtained by calling 770-447-1166. Prices are $10 for adults and $6 for children under 12. All proceeds from the performance will go to the local charities of Rainbow Village and the Norcross Co-Op.