Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas



8 p.m., Friday, December 16, 2011
Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Image: Church basement ladiesJust in time for the holidays, here come the Church Basement Ladies. Hilariously funny and sensibly down to earth, the Ladies stave off potential disasters, share and debate recipes, instruct the young, and keep the Pastor on due course. Their latest adventure, Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas, is a new musical comedy that arrives this yuletide season for one performance only at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at 8 p.m., Friday, December 16, 2011. Tickets are $35 and $30.

Away in the Basement takes us all back to 1959 and the day of the Sunday School Christmas Program. In the midst of holiday preparations and sprinklings of love in the air, the Ladies in their witty, wholesome style are creating their own memories from Christmases past and present. This time out, they are planning the Sunday School Christmas Program, and as the children rehearse upstairs in the sanctuary, the Ladies of the kitchen are busy finishing up the treat bags filled with apples, peanuts and ribbon candy while putting the final touches on the nativity pieces. Little do they know what surprises are in store as they mend old bathrobe costumes and discuss the politics of who's going to play what in the holiday production. Known for their hilarious antics and subtle charm, the Church Basement Ladies are once again called upon to step in and save the day with their own very special style, wit and grace.

Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas is an all-new holiday show and the third installment in this highly successful musical comedy series inspired by the books of author/humorists Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson. Executive Producer Curt Wollan's creative team includes composer/songwriter Drew Jansen, who also wrote the score and lyrics for the original and sequel productions. Sketch comedy writer, Greta Grosch, who wrote the sequel, developed the holiday script. Away in the Basement is directed by Curt Wollan, choreographed by Wendy Short Hays, with set and lighting design by Scott Herbst, sound design by Mark Brodin, costume design by Katrina Benedict, and musical direction by Drew Jansen. The cast includes Lisa Bark as "Beverly Engelson," Nikki Savitt as "Mrs. Gilmer Gilmerson-Mavis," Kevin Grastorf as "the Pastor," Autumn O'Ryan as "Mrs. Lars Snustad-Vivian," and Kari Saloutos as "Mrs. Elroy Engelson-Karin."

The original Church Basement Ladies production was seen by a quarter million people during its two-and-a-half year run at Minnesota's Plymouth Playhouse beginning in September 2005. The sequel, Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping, subsequently ran for eighteen months. Church Basement Ladies has grown into the most successful show produced both locally and nationally by Troupe America in its twenty-five year history. In 2007, the show toured to 58 cities across the country including a three-month run at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396 (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.fairfield.edu/quick.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.fairfield.edu/quick.

Image: pictured (left-right) Nikki Savitt (Mrs. Gilmer Gilmerson-Mavis), Autumn O'Ryan (Mrs. Lars Snustad-Vivian), Carrie SaLoutos(Mrs. Elroy Engelson-Karin), Lisa Bark (Beverly Engelson). Photo Credit: Emily Walter,Troupe Amercia, Inc.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 21, 2011

Vol. 44, No. 133