The 35th-anniversary season of the Ensemble Theatre closes with Javon Johnson’s joyous gospel musical Sanctified, directed and choreographed by Patdro Harris, with musical direction by Carlton Leake. This isn’t the first time Harris and Leake have worked together to bring a rousing musical to the Ensemble stage; the pair has supervised productions of Ain’t Misbehavin’, Blues in the Night, Cinderella, Five Guys Named Moe and The Wiz, so patrons can expect a finely tuned production filled with showstoppers.
Sanctified is the story of Easy Piney Grove Church, a floundering congregation that’s desperate for a surge in membership. The new pastor is a young man with ambition who envisions a grand future for his flock. His plan of action is to revamp the church’s choir, so he enlists the help of his classically trained cousin, an operatic diva. But her larger-than-life personality and high-minded musical methods are a bit too much for the elders of the congregation.
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Sanctified captures the struggle of tradition verses innovation while also celebrating the African-American church experience. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through July 29. The Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: June 28. Continues through July 29, 2012