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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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From basement to stage

Maybe you recognize these women? Curt Wollan, producer and director of the musical comedy Church Basement Ladies, says you don’t even have to be Lutheran to know them. “I know about these Steel Magnolias of the church because my mother was one of them while I was growing up,” heexplains.

Wollan wanted to create a show that celebrates the church basement kitchen and the women who work there—whether they be Lutheran, Jewish or Roman Catholic. He met with Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson, Minnesota authors and humorists who wrote Growing Up Lutheran (Martin House, 1997), about turning their material into a musical comedy. The play, performed at the Plymouth [Minn.] Playhouse, features four characters who organize food in their rural Minnesota church. From the elderly matriarch to the young bride-to-be learning the proper order of things, it chronicles a record-breaking Christmas dinner and other special events.

The play runs through January and stars, from left: Greta Grosch (Mavis—Mrs. Gilmer Gilmerson), Janet Paone (Vivian—Mrs. Lars Snustad), Ruthie Baker (Signe—Mrs. Engelson’s daughter) and Dorian Chalmers (Karin—Mrs. Elroy Engelson).


Comments

pat barrack

pat barrack

Posted at 11:44 am (U.S. Eastern) 11/20/2008

I live in the South,few of us around.WE need the play to come neer us.

Betsy Sebade

Betsy Sebade

Posted at 1:44 am (U.S. Eastern) 2/15/2009

I would like to organize a group of ladies to do these plays in Mission Viejo, Ca. at Mount of Olives Lutheran Church.  Where do I get information on this subject.  I think it would be wonderful to organize this program.  Sincerely, Betsy Sebade  My husband Donald and I are subscribers to the Lutheran Magazine.

sharon S

sharon S

Posted at 10:25 pm (U.S. Eastern) 11/29/2009

Just came from Away in the Basement  and missed the orginal Mavis and Vivian. Could you please tell me if they will be back in the plays. Also is Janet Poane fine.



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