Church Basement Ladies is a musical comedy, book by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlke, and music and lyrics by Drew Jansen. The story is about the ladies that work in the church basement cooking meals for church functions. The musical is inspired by the humorous book Growing Up Lutheran, by Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson. Published in 1997, Growing Up Lutheran is a humorous “scrapbook of memories” of what it was like to grow up Lutheran in the Midwest in the 1950s. In addition to their best seller, Janet and Suzann have written numerous other works, and have performed together as “Those Lutheran Ladies” around the country. Their lives and writings have inspired five additional Church Basement Ladies’ musicals.
October 5th-7th and October 12th-14th
Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus himself, at Higbee’s Department Store. The consistent response: “You’ll shoot your eye out!” All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here, including the family’s temperamental exploding furnace; Scut Farkas, the school bully; the boys’ experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie’s father winning a lamp shaped like a woman’s leg in a net stocking; Ralphie’s fantasy scenarios and more. A Christmas Story is destined to become a theatrical holiday perennial.
November 23rd-25th and November 30th, December 1st-2nd
A tribute from Ken Ludwig (Lend Me A Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo) to the great English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, A Fox On the Fairway takes audiences on a hilarious romp, which pulls the rug out from underneath the stuffy denizens of a private country club. Filled with mistaken identities, slamming doors, and over-the-top romantic shenanigans, it’s a furiously paced comedy that recalls the Marx Brothers’ classics. A charmingly madcap adventure about love, life, and man’s eternal love affair with…golf.
January 4th-6th and January 11th-13th
THE STORY: The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher”) assemble for a backer’s audition of their new show at the Westchester estate of a wealthy “angel.” The house is replete with sliding panels, secret passageways and a German maid who is apparently four different people—all of which figure diabolically in the comic mayhem which follows when the infamous “Slasher” makes his reappearance and strikes again—and again. As the composer, lyricist, actors and director prepare their performance, and a blizzard cuts off any possible retreat, bodies start to drop in plain sight, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind swiveling bookcases, and accusing fingers point in all directions. However, and with no thanks to the bumbling police inspector who snowshoes in to investigate, the mystery is solved in the nick of time and the “Slasher” unmasked—but not before the audience has been treated to a sidesplitting good time and a generous serving of the author’s biting, satiric and refreshingly irreverent wit.
March 8th-10th and March 15th-17th
The Moss River Community Players are pretty okay settling for theatrical mediocrity, until one day the receive a stunning offer: an insanely wealthy woman is offering a ten million dollar prize for the best community theatre show in North Central Minnesota. The catch? They only have two days to put it together! All heck breaks loose as the cast tries their best to present An Unspeakable Triumph of Supreme Brilliance, but with one actor deathly afraid of the stage, another trying to dominate the show, and a set about to collapse, will the riches slip out of their hands before curtain call?
May 3rh-5th and May 10th-12th