Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

Cotton Patch Gospel

Music and Lyrics by Harry Chapincottonpatchgospellogo

Book by Tom Key and Russel Treyz

Directed by Lou Contey

Music Direction by Alaric Jans

Choreography by Priscilla Hummel

At Provision Theatre

Toe-tapping blues grass musical soars with enhanced staging and vocals

Now in their new permanent home at 1001 W. Roosevelt Road, Provision Theatre opens their new season with an enhanced mounting of their past hit Gospel musical,  Cotton Patch Gospel.  Director Lou Contey added a four person choirs and a rusted pickup truck plus four excellent bluegrass musician/singers to aid Tim Gregory as he tells the story of Matthew and John’s gospel. Cotton Patch Gospel’s book (by Tom Key and Russel Treyz) is  reverential retelling of the New Testament in a contemporary Southern setting (Georgia & Mississippi) set to bluesgrass music (by Harry Chapin).

Tim Gregory
Tim Gregory

This easy to digest musical is full of charm that oozes from every movement and utterance from Tim Gregory who plays every character in Gospel.  Gregory is a master storyteller at home with his material. He comes off as sincere, truthful and charming.  The bluegrass music from Chapin contains toe-tapping bluegrass rhythms that foretell, enhance and celebrate the coming of Jesus. With hints of religious hymns and gospel emotions, Cotton Patch Gospel  plays as a pleasant, light  homily to Christian beliefs that doesn’t push their doctrine down your throat. It is a breezy, sweet and easy to digest gospel bluegrass musical. it is also a tour de force vehicle for the talented  Tim Gregory.  Gregory sure owns the material as he presents Matthew and John’s good news story as a fine morality tales.

cotton patch gospel

The  non-mic’d, sounds from the singers/musicians filled the good sized stage with pure acoustical from the bass, fiddle, guitar and banjo played deftly by Shaun Whitley, Farley Masterton, Trey Maclin and Alex Goodrich. The choirs of Christian David, Whitney Clair White,  Krystal Metcalfe and Dora Marie Washington Powell added heavenly harmonies to Chapin’s songs.

Cptton Patch Gospel is filled with excellent storytelling, great bluegrass music and a wonderful performance by Tim Gregory. This is uplifting family show with loads of heart. Take the entire family, they’ll love it!

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

At provision Theatre, 1001 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL, call 866-811-4111,, tickets $25 – $28, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 2 hours with intermission.

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