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  • MUMC 150 History Committee

Broadway on 1626

Thanks to the vision and creative talents of Suzanne and Dennis Holcomb, the Sanctuary choir (along with a few other musical members of the congregation) had the joy and privilege of presenting five theatrical productions to our congregation, family and friends at no charge. Beginning in 1993 with “Memories…An 1890’s Musicale,” “Sentimental Journey” (a USO-type show) in 1994, “Once Upon A Time” (Disney favorites) in 1996, “Broadway Rehearsal” in 1997, and finally “Cruisin’ Down the River” in 1999.


Back then the Fellowship Hall had a stage at the west end. The stage had an outside door on the left and one on the right, so we were able to create wings to hide performers’ entrances. Most of the choir worked weekends and evenings rehearsing and creating sets. We’ll never forget the hours John Stine, Linda Andrews and Patricia Schmitz spent painting the back wall for the Broadway show. We made our own costumes and props. Louis and Patricia built the risers that are now used in our existing choir room. We even built a “ticket booth” for the Broadway show. All the shows were presented in this venue except the Riverboat show, which was staged in the sanctuary.


Some of our favorite memories: Jean Johnfroe singing “A Bird In A Gilded Cage,” all the women singing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” Kathy Skipper sang “Never Smile At A Crocodile,” Malcolm Nelson, Chris McCormick and Dennis Holcomb with “I Feel Pretty,” Linda Andrews and Patricia Schmitz singing “Miss Celie’s Blues.”


Also, Louis Schmitz took part in all the shows. Even though singing isn’t Louis’ forte, for the 1890’s and Disney shows he learned the words to the ensemble pieces and lip-synced them. He also managed the lighting for all the other shows.


By the time we presented the Riverboat show, Dennis Holcomb had passed away, but we feel sure many of his ideas went into the content of that show. Suzanne was confined to a wheelchair by then, but did an outstanding job producing and directing. We’ll never forget and have the fondest memories of Dennis and Suzanne and the wonderful times we had preparing for and presenting these programs.


Since Mark Hixon came to Manchaca, the choir has presented three shows: “Wash Your Troubles Away,” “A Novel Night On Broadway,” and “A Night at the Oscars.” Two non-musical melodramas have also been presented: “And So They Had None” and “The Pony Expresso.” They’ve all been a great experience and gratifying to share with the congregation, our families, and friends.


~MUMC Sesquicentennial Committee



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