Valleydale Baptist performs ‘Rosie’s’comment (0)
December 7, 2000
By Lauren Brooks
People in Birmingham received an early Christmas gift this year. Valleydale Baptist Church brought them “Rosie’s,” an original musical theater production that was guaranteed to provide a big dose of holiday spirit.
A Broadway-style show, the singing, dancing, and drama in “Rosie’s” is humorous but at the same time, thought provoking. “‘Rosie’s’ offered music, dance and comedy but with a serious message woven through,” said director Lee Ann Martin.
“This production was for believers as well as people who are searching for answers to fill an emptiness and longing that only Jesus can fill,” said Kathy Jones, a member of Valleydale and cast member.
Valleydale’s sanctuary was transformed into Faron Falls, USA, the town where Rosie lives.The stage, a bustling cafe, is situated on a giant lazy Susan that with a turn becomes a beauty salon.
Lanterns made of apple juice containers line the aisles and mock storefronts along the sides of the sanctuary complete the feeling of being in Faron Falls.
Rosie owns a cafe that she and her late husband built together. She struggles with keeping the cafe and herself going. Meanwhile, another family from out of town is trying to make some decisions about moving to Faron Falls and all that comes with relocating. Ultimately, they all question if they believe in Someone greater than themselves.
“This is about real people with real issues seeking real answers,” said Keith Martin, Valleydale’s music pastor.
The 300-member cast and crew ranged in age from 8 to 80. They are all members of Valleydale Baptist with the exception of Rosie, the lead character, who is played by Mary Clement, a Christian actress from Marietta, Ga.
“It’s great that a church is willing to put on a production like this,” said Clement. “It’s fun but also presents the gospel.”
Along with the production, the cast also interacted with audience before curtain call, Jones said.
Glenn Stephenson and his daughter Krista, 13, were both involved in ‘Rosie’s.’ Glenn, who played an impatient father, is a member of the choir, so he is used to singing, but not quite like this. “It’s amazing how it all (came) together,” he said.
‘Rosie’s’ was one of the largest undertakings Valleydale Baptist has ever attempted and they had some help from professionals in the entertainment industry.
The set designer, Gary Lee Reed, is from Los Angeles, and the scriptwriters are Jim Custer and Bob Hoose, a well-known drama duo. Jan Powell, Hardy Hemphill and Ken Stone, award-winning musicians, all contributed to writing the songs for “Rosie’s.”
Calvin Kelly is pastor of Valleydale Baptist Church.