Join Gomer, Otis, Ernest T. Bass, Floyd the barber and Deputy Barney Fife as the Averitt Center for the Arts presents "A Tribute to Mayberry" in the Emma Kelly Theater on Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Still in syndication after 55 years, "The Andy Griffith Show" crosses all generations with its humor and endearing life lessons set in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina.
"We live in a world where people are searching for their own Mayberry," said David Browning, who has been impersonating the infamous Mayberry deputy since 1988. "I value this character for what it gives people today . . . a laugh, a lift and memories."
Alongside Browning, Allan Newsome plays the role of Floyd the barber, Phil Foxx is Ernest T. Bass, Michael Oliver plays Gomer and Kenneth Junkin is Otis.
But the most recognizable personality of the fun ensemble is Metter native and local personality Christie McLendon, who plays the role of Andylina Darling.
McLendon, who most recently starred on the Emma Kelly stage as Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls" earlier this month, has been touring with the Mayberry tribute artists since 2000, when she first began performing as Charlene Darling. The character evolved into Andylina, the daughter of Charlene from the episode entitled "The Darling Baby," and the tribute artists have performed at festivals across the South, including Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The company also performs on the annual "A Cruise to Mayberry,"
a five-day event on Carnival cruise lines every fall.
"The family values and good down-home humor speak to many generations and make for a great show which the whole family can enjoy," McLendon said.
Browning, who has appeared as a pitch-man on regional television advertising, believes that people are entertained and enlightened by the characters because it reminds them of a simpler time.
"It doesn't matter where you go in America, you get this kind of feeling in a small town," he said. "There's a lot of farming towns where they still have the small-town values. That's what the show captured, and those are the values it speaks to, plus the clean fun."
This is a one-night performance, so get your tickets before they’re sold out. Tickets are $22 ($24 non-members) and can be purchased online at www.averittcenterforthearts.org, or by visiting the box office during business hours, Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5:30 p.m.
Come early and meet the cast in the lobby before the show.The show is sponsored by Farmers & Merchants Bank and Dabbs, Hickman, Hill and Cannon.