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Broadway Rose to open 'Church Basement Ladies'

Play celebrates church-basement kitchens and women who work there

SUBMITTED PHOTO: CRAIG MITCHELLDYER - Zoe Randol (from left), Debbie Hunter, Kymberli Colbourne and Lori Paschall star in Broadway Rose Theatres production of Church Basement Ladies, opening April 15. Broadway Rose Theatre Company continues its 25th anniversary season with “Church Basement Ladies,” opening April 15 at the Broadway Rose New Stage, 12850 S.W. Grant Ave. in Tigard. Tickets are priced from $30-$44.

The production tells the story of how, in rural Minnesota in 1965, the ladies of the local church fortified their flock with love, wisdom and, of course, the food they prepared in the church’s basement kitchen. Inspired by the best-selling book “Growing up Lutheran,” “Church Basement Ladies” mixes together delightful original music, endearing characters and side (dish)-splitting scenes to yield a deliciously funny musical comedy.

A preview performance is scheduled for April 14, with opening night on April 15 and shows continuing through May 15. Thursday-through-Saturday evening performances are planned for 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on select Saturdays and Sundays.

“Church Basement Ladies,” a celebration of the church basement kitchen and the women who work there, features four distinct characters and their relationships as they organize the food and the problems of a rural Minnesota church. From the elderly matriarch of the kitchen to the young bride-to-be learning the proper order of things, the book and music provide a touching, funny look at how they handle a record-breaking Christmas dinner, the funeral of a dear friend, a Hawaiian Easter fundraiser and a steaming hot July wedding. They stave off potential disasters, share and debate recipes, instruct the young and keep the pastor on course, all while thoroughly enjoying (and tolerating) each other.

The cast features Kymberli Colbourne (Mavis), Debbie Hunter (Karin), Lori Paschall (Vivian), Zoe Randol (Signe) and Matthew Belles (Pastor E.L. Gunderson). Tickets are available online at broadwayrose.org or by calling the box office at 503-620-5262.