Last chance to see Dale Butler’s ‘We Are Climb’n’ Jacob’s Ladder’
The grand finale of Dale Butler’s historical, inspirational mystery “We Are Climb’n’ Jacob’s Ladder,” is set for tomorrow at Glory Temple Church, Southside, St David’s Island. And we will just have to wait and see to what extent if any, the star-studded cast can excel their overall previous three presentations. Having been privileged to attend the premiere of “Jacob’s Ladder” at the Angle Street, Hamilton New Testament Church, Butler’s newfangled attempt at accenting local history we were left with the distinct feeling it was the best show this writer had ever seen. We were persuaded to see the next two presentations at Mount Zion AME Church, Southampton, and Sunday last at Evening Light Tabernacle, Pembroke. And again our spirits were high at what was in each case a brilliant variation of a theme to suit both the contours of the churches and the different community personalities singled out for citations. Dale uses familiar Negro Spirituals backed up by the Giant Steps Band, to present “Climb’n” as a modern-old fashion religious church service, with some elements probably more awakening than seen and heard in ‘real’ services in many regular churches. The stars of the show give new meaning and intense feeling in their rendition of solos and group singing of “Let Us Break Bread Together on Our Knees”; “Walk Together Children”, “Give Me That Old Fashion Religion”, and nearly a dozen other selections. Gerald Simons probably never acted out “Sometimes I feel Like a Motherless Child” more dramatically than he did at Evening Light. Super-star poet, actor and singer Glen Iris as the minister is characteristically witty, sanctimonious, and would do well in a church of his own, or recruited for some other pulpit. Mother June Caisey, a veteran vocalist, dancer and elocutionist and her real life daughter Phiemma Caisey were the ones to behold in the amen-corner of the church, along with Cleveland (Outasight) Simmons and John Holdipp. Soloists Toni Robinson, Darlene Hartley, Nashunte Bailey and Lavette Fuentes would be worth seeing as recitalists apart from “Climb’n Jacob’s Ladder”. Producer Dale Butler managed to work himself into the performance as a singer, and also well-known elocutionist, historian and musician Denny Richardson. At each performance tribute is paid to persons who have made outstanding contributions to the life of the particular church and community. The late Bishop Charles Foster (Holy) Fubler was remembered for his work at the Church of God in Middle Town, Pembroke and later at the old Colonial Opera House. Bishop Fubler was famous for his style, wearing cowboy hats; and the first act Sunday saw members of the band with others from the cast singing in their distinctive cowboy hats. Also Sis Doris Georgia Samuels, was cited by her church as the distinguished patron. Born June 28, 1928, she is one of the eight children of John and Susan Samuels. She attended the nearby Central School before going to work for 28 years at the US Air Force Base, Kindley Field (now LF Wade International Airport) and as caregiver for various families. She joined Evening Light at a young age and committed her life to the Lord, being a Sunday School teacher and a choir member for over 20 years.