The unsung heroes who work behind the scenes to keep churches running smoothly get their musical due in Sierra Repertory Theatre's uproarious staging of "Church Basement Ladies."
According to an SRT press release, audiences should "think 'Prairie Home Companion' meets 'The Carol Burnett Show' and 'I Love Lucy,' throw in lots of singing, dancing and good-natured fun, and you get the picture."
The musical was inspired by best-selling book "Growing Up Lutheran," by Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson. The show, along with its sequels, have been staged across the country; in fact, SRT guest director for the upcoming production Marc Liby directed "Church Basement Ladies" for his former theater in Kansas.
"It's good family fun," Liby said in the release. "Everyone has these people in their lives -- the ones who know all the gossip, who rule without ruling and who give a town its foundation."
"Church Basement Ladies" tells the story of East Cornucopia Lutheran Church of the Prairie and the female members -- Vivian, Mavis, Karin and Signe -- who handle anything their pastor sends their way, from weddings to fund-raisers to church dinners.
The story follows them through several seasons and events as the women trade barbs, avert disasters and poke fun at one another and at their friends -- the parishioners at the neighborhood Catholic church.
The music includes four-part harmonies and clever lyrics.
"It's total variety and all in good fun," SRT veteran Dennis Brown, musical director for the production, said in the release.
"Church Basement Ladies" opens April 19 and plays through mid-May at the Fallon House Theatre in Columbia. The show is rated PG, suitable for ages 12 and up.
'Church Basement Ladies'
WHEN: April 19-May 19; Thursdays-Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Fallon House Theatre, 11175 Washington St., Columbia
CALL: (209) 532-3120