OTTUMWA — The Church Basement Ladies are back with an all-new musical comedy, A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement.
The fourth installment of the Church Basement ladies series of musical comedies, A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement will be presented Thursday for two performances, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at The Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.
The popular series began at the Plymouth Playhouse in Minneapolis, Minn., with the first installment, Church Basement Ladies, in 2005. It’s sequel, A Second Helping, The Church Basement Ladies and the Christmas Musical, Away in the Basement, A Church Basement Ladies Christmas, have been seen in venues coast to coast.
In the latest installment, these “bulwarks never failing” are at it again. The year is 1960, and a reformation is underway. With a new crop of confirmands, Beverly, the youngest of the bunch, dons her first pair of high heels for her confirmation ceremony. Mrs. Snustad, the matriarch of the kitchen, wins top honors at the county fair for her “Grand Champion” pickles. Mavis, the able-bodied farm wife, must find a way to deal with the new super highway, which cuts through her farm. Karin, the real homemaker of the kitchen, finds new freedom behind the wheel of her husband’s pickup truck and must reconcile a new world of change for her daughter, Beverly. Pastor, who has always found strength and solace in the church basement, has found new love and announces his impending nuptials. The Church Basement Ladies are once again required to face change head-on. Against the changing tide, these pillars of the church stand strong in their faith and in their friendships with more crazy antics, more great new songs and more lessons reluctantly learned.
With all new music by composer Drew Jansen, who wrote the music and lyrics for the past Church Basement Ladies installments and script by sketch comedy writer Greta Grosch, who also penned the sequel and the Christmas version, A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement, continues to be inspired by the writings of author/humorists Janet Martin and Suzann Nelson, including the best-seller Growing Up Lutheran.