MEN IN THE PARISH BASEMENT? WHAT’S A CHURCH LADY TO DO?

February 12, 2019

RISE UP O’ MEN gives the gents a chance to shine in the latest installment of THE CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES musical comedy series

Sioux Falls – Fans of the musical comedy series THE CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES will finally get to know more about the men of East Cornucopia Lutheran Church, in the new production RISE UP O’ MEN at the Washington Pavilion on February 24, 2019. 

“We have brought back a few different shows for our 20th season,” said Regina Ruhberg, Director of Performances and Events. “When we were trying to figure out which shows would help us celebrate our first 20 years we knew THE CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES would have to be part of our season. This is the fourth time we’ve had these hilarious entertainers on our stage and we’re delighted for the next chapter in their story.”

This sidesplitting, uplifting peek into the lives of the rural Norwegian Lutherans, who audiences first fell in love with in 2005, is the sixth chapter of the story begun in the original THE CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES. RISE UP O’ MEN features familiar faces: Mrs. Mavis Gilmerson, Mrs. Vivian Snustad, and Mrs. Karin Engleson. But as they busy themselves with preparations for their churches participation in the town’s 1964 Centennial Celebration, we get to see their coming and goings from the eyes of the menfolk, who have their own problems to solve.

“We’re ready to introduce some new faces to the many fans who’ve become part of THE CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES family over the years,” said Troupe America’s Curt Wollan, who has produced all six of the shows. “We’ve also got a lineup of original musical numbers that we’ve caught our preview audiences humming on the way out of the theatre—between the belly laughs and the songs, RISE UP O’ MEN is an exciting addition to THE CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES canon.” 

The series of THE CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES productions are inspired by the bestselling book “Growing Up Lutheran” by Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson. This latest chapter in the lives of these rural Minnesota Norwegians was developed by Greta Grosch, who wrote the scripts for the second, third, fourth and fifth musicals in the series. Longtime Minneapolis Star Tribune theatre critic Graydon Royce contributed additional material. Composer and songwriter Dennis Curley wrote the music, with lyrics by Dennis Curley and Greta Grosch.

Originally produced by Troupe America Inc, the original musical comedy, THE CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES, opened at the Plymouth Playhouse in Minneapolis September 2005 to a response so enthusiastic that its initial run lasted two-and-a half years. Five sequels have expanded the universe of these familiar and beloved “Steel Magnolias of the Prairie,” making THE CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES the most successful show in Troupe America’s 30-year history. Millions of Americans discovered a heartfelt connection to its deeply funny church matriarchs through regional and national touring productions.  

Tickets are on sale at the Washington Pavilion Box Office at 301 S Main Ave, by calling 605-367-6000 or at washingtonpavilion.org. 

About the Washington Pavilion 
The Washington Pavilion is the region’s home for the arts, entertainment and science. Located in a beautifully renovated historic building in downtown Sioux Falls, it is one of only a few facilities in the world to bring together under one roof the performing arts, visual arts and interactive science. The vast array of high quality programming and educational activities available through the Husby Performing Arts Center, Kirby Science Discovery Center, Visual Arts Center and the Community Learning Center ensures that people of all ages and walks of life can rely upon the Washington Pavilion to inspire, educate, entertain and enrich. There is, indeed, something for everyone here. For information about our programs, please call (605) 367-7397 or, (toll free) at 1-877-Wash Pav or visit our website at www.washingtonpavilion.org.