Mary Wayne, left, and Nancy Lahs rehearse Tuesday for “Church Basement Ladies,” which opens tonight at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.  --Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune
Mary Wayne, left, and Nancy Lahs rehearse Tuesday for “Church Basement Ladies,” which opens tonight at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

Archived Story

Make ’em laugh

Published 2:30pm Thursday, April 25, 2013

Here’s hoping Albert Leans are able to laugh at themselves.

Albert Lea Community Theatre’s newest production, “Church Basement Ladies,” pokes fun at those good-hearted people who staff the church basement kitchens often found in the Midwest.

The show stars Nancy Lahs, Mary Wayne and Sue Wiersma as church ladies, Kristi White as a younger church basement-lady-in-training and Lynn Berven as the minister.

The musical comedy is directed by Lyle resident David Dahlquist. He’s worked as an actor with ACT before but has never directed in Albert Lea. He has spent time directing with local theaters in Austin. He said people will love “Church Basement Ladies” because they’ll be able to relate the characters to people they know.

From left is Sue Wiersma, Mary Wayne, Kristi White and Lynn Berven. They make up four of the five cast members (along with Nancy Lahs) of “Church Basement Ladies,” which opens today.
From left is Sue Wiersma, Mary Wayne, Kristi White and Lynn Berven. They make up four of the five cast members (along with Nancy Lahs) of “Church Basement Ladies,” which opens today.

“It’s funny, and it’s got great music,” Dahlquist said.

The show is family-friendly and follows the humor, love and laughter the ladies experience while preparing for all the events a church sees, including funerals, weddings and lutefisk dinners.

Songs include “Closer to Heaven (in the Church Basement),” “The Pale Food Polka” and “Dead Spread.”

“We hope people come out and see it because we know they’ll enjoy it,” Dahlquist said.

Dahlquist said he couldn’t have done the show without the help of the stage managers and all those who volunteered their time for set design, choreography and other tasks.

Kristi White, on left, and Lynn Berven rehearse a scene Tuesday for Albert Lea Community Theatre’s latest production, “Church Basement Ladies.”
Kristi White, on left, and Lynn Berven rehearse a scene Tuesday for Albert Lea Community Theatre’s latest production, “Church Basement Ladies.”

“Church Basement Ladies” opens at 7:30 p.m. today at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. Shows continue at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Then four more showings are next week at 7:30 p.m. May 1-4.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for students. They’re available online at www.actonbroadway.com or by calling the box office at 377-4371.

Tickets, please

Who: Albert Lea Community Theatre

What: “Church Basement Ladies”

Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center, downtown Albert Lea

When: 7:30 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; and 7:30 p.m. May 1, 2, 3 and 4.

How much: $18 for adults and $10 for students