A time-honored variety show aims to ‘keep Vashon weird’

CHRCH celebrates all things peculiar, goofy and great about the island.

CHRCH, a recently reincarnated island variety show, will be back on the stage for two performances at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 14, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

The theme for this edition is “Keep Vashon Weird,” celebrating all things peculiar, goofy and great about the island.

The ensemble of “Holy Roller Radio Players” includes Lyn McManus, Jon Whalen, Jeanne Dougherty, Janet McAlpin, Jim Farrell, Brian Palermo, Mik Kuhlman, Lou Mangione, and David Godsey, as the pin-striped, proselytizing host of the show, known as “The Rev.”

Godsey, along with Brian Palermo, is also one of the head writers for the group and has been involved with the show as it has evolved through the decades.

CHRCH has a storied history as a show on Vashon.

The original show — which many considered to be Vashon’s answer to Prairie Home Companion — launched in 2008 as a modest affair, playing to small, die-hard crowds at the Red Bicycle Bistro & Sushi. Full of Vashon humor and island talent, the show grew in popularity — ultimately moving to Open Space for Arts & Community, where it routinely filled all 600 seats, making it the biggest event on the island during many of the late aughts and the early 2010s.

It also grew in complexity, becoming a much more polished and seamless series of skits, musical performances and monologues.

The show reappeared briefly in late 2019 before the pandemic stalled its rebirth. But then, last September, CHRCH reappeared, as did the crowds who had missed it for so many years.

The show is as wonderful now as ever, according to Godsey.

“The CHRCH cast is unparalleled in talent,” he said, promising that the revue, complete with comedy and music, will once again “twist, spin and fold fresh news from the heart of Vashon life into an entertaining and moving performance.”

Doors open one hour before each show at Open Space, located at 18870 103rd Ave SW.

Purchase tickets at openspacevashon.com/events. Pay-what-you-can tickets will be available at the door unless the show is sold out. Learn more about CHRCH by visiting chrchatopenspace.com.