'Cotton Patch' to cap Lyceum season

Wednesday, October 8, 2003
Robert Standley returns to the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre to star as Jesus in "Cotton Patch Gospel." Standley was last seen at the theater in the same role in 1998.

The Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre will finish its 2003 season with "Cotton Patch Gospel."

A contemporary, Southern retelling of the gospels of Matthew and John, the musical is based on the Clarence Jordan book "The Cotton Patch Version of Matthew and John." Tom Key and Russell Treyz adapted the work of Jordan, a Bible scholar and civil rights activist, and combined it with the music of Harry Chapin to create the stage version.

Lyceum Associate Artistic Director Philip M. Coffield will direct the production, which features a folk, country and gospel score. Songs included in the production are "Jubilation," "Somethin's Brewin' in Gainsville" and "One More Tomorrow."

"Audiences will be on their feet with joy," Coffield said. "It's fun, stirring and back to wow audiences again at the Lyceum."

Returning to fill the part of Jesus is Robert Standley. The Los Angeles-based actor was last seen in Arrow Rock in the same role during the 1998 production of "Cotton Patch Gospel." Earlier Lyceum appearances by Standley include parts in "The Rainmaker" and "The Lion in Winter."

Fellow Lyceum veteran Quin Gresham returns to play Matthew. Gresham has been seen in numerous Lyceum productions including "The Wizard of Oz," "God's Favorite" and "Lend Me a Tenor."

The Lyceum also assembled an experienced cast to fill out the production's ensemble. Coco Sansoni and Amy Jordan recently appeared in the theater's production of "Steel Magnolias" and Daniel Black has appeared in productions of "A Sanders Family Christmas" and "Smoke on the Mountain." The cast also includes Lyceum Artistic Director Michael Bollinger, who appeared this season in "Foxfire" and "Guys and Dolls."

Featured musicians for the production are Joe Belcher on bass and Kathy Rollings on fiddle. The scenery and lighting for "Cotton Patch Gospel" were designed by Randy B. Winder.

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