Homegrown Christmas musical returns to Covington

COVINGTON – What happens when a man achieves his career goals and earns lots of money but pays no attention to his family? In short, his life falls apart, at least it does in the Christmas musical, “O Come Y’all to Covington,” and it takes an angel to help him put it back together it again.

“It’s a typical story of mankind — finding out who you are and what you are created for,” said Mack McKibben, who wrote the show and is also presenting it in conjunction with the Covington First United Methodist Church. “He missed it all and finally realizes what’s important and he comes back to his roots. Getting there is the trick.”

In its fourth year, “O Come Y’all to Covington,” an hour-long musical drama featuring Christmas music and themes of redemption and forgiveness, will be performed at the Covington First United Methodist Church, 1113 Conyers St. in Covington, at 7 p.m. on Dec. 17, 18 and 19.

The show is free but tickets must be obtained at either McKibben Music, 1118 Monticello St., on the Square in Covington, or at Covington Methodist. McKibben recommended picking up tickets as soon as possible, because each year the church is filled to capacity for each performance.

“O Come Y’all to Covington” is the story of a family man who is successful in his job but ignores his wife and children, who subsequently leave the father and move back to their hometown. After the father loses his job, the full impact of unemployment and isolation from his family becomes too much to bear. He considers committing suicide.

An angel, played by local entertainer Andy Offutt Irwin, steps in and changes the course of events. McKibben said he wrote the part of the angel at first as just a narrator, but having met Irwin, he changed the character to that of an angel, specifically one that reflects the humorous personality of Irwin.

“It’s told by Andy and he is hilarious. It wouldn’t be what it is without him,” said McKibben. “He plays the part to a T. He’s just incredible.”

The backdrop for the story is a 35-member church choir, along with a band, which provides the musical aspect of the show. The show features about 20 songs including secular songs such as Peter Gabriel’s hit, “Don’t Give Up,” “Shout,” and “Joyful, Joyful” from the movie “Sister Act 2”; contemporary songs like Faith Hill’s hit, “Where are you Christmas?” and Stevie Wonder’s, “I Wish”; and a host of traditional Christmas songs, such as “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” What Child is This?” “O Holy Night,” “Let it Snow,” “Winter Wonderland” and “White Christmas.”

McKibben said audiences will be entertained right up until the conclusion of the story.

“There’s a twist at the end on how (the main character) comes to see the error of his ways,” said McKibben. “They just have to come see it and find out what it is.”

For more information or for tickets, call McKibben Music at 770-784-9101 or Covington United Methodist Church at 770-786-7305.