GREENSBURG — They sang; they danced; they joined in worship at the First Church of Elvis.
It wasn’t the ritual of some underground society though, nor some bizarre religious cult who gathered at the First Baptist Church Monday night. Rather, it was the Front and Center Players of Decatur County, taking the stage of the church’s Family Life Center to present “On with the Show II,” the group’s second annual variety show.
The event is presented by the Arc of Decatur County in conjunction with Developmental Services, Inc. (DSI) of Decatur County. Lynda Smith, president of the Arc of Decatur County, told the Daily News that the show featured 16 performers, ranging in age from 20 to 55, all intellectually and/or developmentally disabled.
The production, billed as “A Riotous Variety Show,” was written entirely by the cast, Smith said. Actor Jeff Kuehl of the Columbus Area Arts Council, directed. Kuehl also directed last year’s inaugural show.
“Jeff worked with the group, finding their talents and helping them create and produce a fun show,” Smith said. “We’re so happy he agreed to return this year to direct and produce this show with an even larger cast.”
The production featured “seven or eight” mostly country and rock numbers, but also included at least one show tune from the “The Sound of Music.” “We’re all in this together,” “Hand Jive,” “Long Black Train,” “Hey Girl,” “Teddy Bear” and “Climb Every Mountain” were among the songs performed Monday night, according to Smith. There were also lip synching and dancing acts.
The evening also featured an ongoing site-gag with a tennis racket and a performance by a group of Front and Center Players in full dress uniform as Indianapolis Colt cheerleaders
The show’s feature presentation, however, was a skit entitled, “The First Church of Elvis.” “Churchgoers” – all members of the cast – gathered to hear a sermon by none other than the King of Rock-and-Roll himself.