The hilarious new musical comedy Church Basement Ladies makes its Chicago premiere at The North Shore Center for Performing Arts.
William Christopher, the Evanston native who played "Father Mulcahy" for 11 years on M*A*S*H, is coming home to headline the musical comedy that mixes the silliness of Nunsense with the homespun humor of Prairie Home Companion. Curt Wollan directs.
The musical is a celebration of the church basement kitchens everywhere and the wonderful, unsung women who work there. Set in 1964-65, the show is a funny, heartfelt reflection on the four women who tirelessly prepare the food and solve problems for the congregation at a rural Minnesota church.
The "Church Basement Ladies" include the elderly matriarch of the kitchen, a young bride-to-be, a jack-of-all trades farm wife and the best cook in the church. Together, the ladies stave off potential disasters, share and debate recipes, instruct the young, and keep the Pastor on due course as they cope with the changing world. In the span of a year, they plan a record-breaking Christmas dinner, the funeral of a dear friend, a Hawaiian Easter Fundraiser, and a steaming hot July wedding feast.
The show is based on the best-selling book Growing Up Lutheran by humorists Janet Letnes and Suzann Nelson. The musical features a book by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlke, with Music and Lyrics by Drew Jansen.