When Rev. Drexel Morton began his summer, he had no idea of the wild ride he had ahead. "I was certainly busy with my church, but I also thought it would be fun to try my hand at theatre again after a brief sabbatical from the hobby...and on top of all that, I decide to throw my hat in the ring for Congress!" exclaims Morton.
“Our forebears intended that those who serve be ‘Citizen Servants’ and not perpetual office holders. The grand vision was that citizens would go from villages and hamlets and farms to serve in Washington for a stint - only to return to their rightful occupations after a time of public service,” adds Morton.
Public service of all kinds is certainly in Morton’s blood. Morton, who resides in Canton with his wife of thirty-five years Mary, serves as pastor of Hartland's All Saints Lutheran Church. He has also been an active participant in musical productions at Canton's Spotlight Players and now Ann Arbor's The Penny Seats, a relatively New Group performing outdoors at the West Park band shell.
Director Jacqui Robbins cast Morton in this summer's production of the musical "She Loves Me" (opening July 26 - www.pennyseats.org) as parfumerie owner, amateur ballroom dancer, and occasionally cantankerous boss Mr. Maraczek.
"I just love this show so much. The music by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, who also wrote 'Fiddler on the Roof' and 'Fiorello!' among many others, is just sublime. And I have worked with many of these talented folks in the cast before at Spotlight Players. It is such a fun and accepting and witty group - I feel so grateful to share this summer 'theatre therapy' with them!" observes Morton.
Spending even the briefest time with Morton, you can tell that a community of people creating good works is essential to his well-being. For instance, about his parish, Morton notes, "These people are the salt of the earth. I am so energized being with them, and I am truly thrilled to be working at All Saints and learning from them all."
So, it comes as no surprise that Morton would eventually turn his eye toward politics. "I just never realized it would be so soon and so sudden," he comments, adding that he had been considering the notion for months due to a feeling that the nation is "divided like never before...I want to go back to that vision of what the Unites States was when I was a young man, where people could have opposing positions during the day and then they were friends at night...Compromise and cooperation are what made our country great.” Morton enters the race as a Republican write-in candidate, seeking the seat was vacated by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter.
Morton, who, with wife Mary, has four grown children, certainly has a busy summer ahead...but one look at the twinkle in this longtime Michigander's eye, and you can see that he can't wait for every bit of this adventure!
In this classic musical by a trio of Broadway’s best-known creators (Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock, and Joe Masteroff), two workplace rivals spend their days bickering and their nights falling in love as secret pen pals, while their quirky coworkers deal with a spate of other problems. Said to have “one of the best scores…in musical theater,” the show has enjoyed a well-deserved resurgence in recent years. The show is based on the play “Parfumerie,” by Miklos Laszlo, which was also adapted cinematically three times: “The Shop Around the Corner” with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, “In the Good Old Summertime” with Judy Garland and Van Johnson, and “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
“She Loves Me.” Tickets are $10. The show runs at 7 pm, July 26-28, August 2-4, and August 9-11, at West Park Band Shell, between Miller and Huron. Call 734-276-2832 for more information or visit www.pennyseats.org.