Theatergoers are in for a special treat next week as the Marshall County Community Theatre celebrates its 30th anniversary with a very special musical evening.
Designed like an award show, "And the Winner Is..." will present 12 musical selections from "12 blockbuster Broadway hits," according to the show's poster.
The special production is the creation of director David Sanders, who wanted to come up with something unique - a production that would showcase the maximum of local talent, both past and present.
Debbie Logue and Elise Dumser share the duties of musical director, Julie Taylor Plott is the choreographer, and Alva Cavnar is the producer.
The opening number is from "A Chorus Line," a show that was a great favorite of Sanders' late mother, Jerre, in the '80s, and is dedicated to her.
"'Chorus Line' got me into all this," Sanders said earlier this week, as children rehearsed "Do-Re-Mi" from "The Sound of Music" on the Dixie stage, while other cast members, overseen by Plott, practiced their "Chorus Line" dance number in the lobby.
Over 50 people are appearing in the production, Sanders said, and all of them are local, ranging in age from six to 65-plus. He estimated close to 100 people have had a hand in the show.
"I've had so much help," Sanders exclaimed. In addition to directing, he appears in several numbers, singing and dancing, and admitted, "I'm worn out."
"A lot of neat people" who were involved with MCCT in years past have been invited to come back as presenters in the "award show," Sanders said. They will be able to reminisce about their days on the stage, and it's "unscripted," the director added.
Everyone will be in basic black, Sanders said, with the addition of accessories to set the mood of the different numbers.
A five-piece live band will play for the "Miss Saigon" segment, and there will be live music for the solo numbers, though orchestral accompaniment for the ensembles is a recording.
Sanders retired from teaching in May this year, so at least he doesn't have to get ready for the start of school next month, but he's going back to Marshall County High School after Christmas to teach drama classes for the second half of the year.
Now that he's retired, Sanders hopes to do even more at the Dixie.
"It's just a passion," he said.
The shows, in addition to the ones already mentioned, are "Oliver!" "Guys and Dolls," "Les Miserables," "Young Frankenstein," "Chess," "Wicked," "Working," "Anything Goes," and "American Idiot."
Performances start at 7:30 p.m. on July 26, 27, 28, 30, and 31 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 29. Tickets go on sale at the Dixie starting Monday afternoon from 3:30 to 5 p.m. For groups, please e-mail Lpotts@vallnet.com.