As my first interview for the blog I had a wonderful conversation with Greta Grosch about the ninth installment of The Church Basement Ladies productions PLOWIN’ THRU running now at the Ames Center in Burnsville. I have to admit that I had heard a little bit about The Church Basement Ladies from my mom who has attended other productions, but my knowledge of their work was rather limited past that. After chatting with Grosch and learning more about the extensive list of productions and amazing supportive audience base, I am even more excited to see this production this weekend.
The Church Basement Ladies productions began in 2005 and are based on books by Suzann Nelson and Janet Letnes Martin. The rights to their lives were secured and the first musical premiered in 2005 and ended up running for 2 and a half years. “We wanted to tell the stories of people who aren’t often the stars of the show, like the Golden GIrls of the Midwest. When people watch, they recognize themselves.” Grosch also added that “for those who don’t recognize themselves I suspect they will recognize the characters on stage as aunts, grandparents, or even their own parents.”
“You fall in love with these characters and don’t want them to go away” The CBL series of productions have continued because of the immense support of their audiences. “I wrote a few, then a Christmas show, then a few more. We even had one called Church Basement Ladies in The Last (Potluck) Supper that we planned on being the final show. But the audiences are so invested in these characters’ lives, that people just kept asking what is coming next, so we wrote more.” They have a conscientious approach to writing to keep the productions accessible to any new patron, “we will honor the returning patrons and keep the fan favorite moments, but make sure we level the playing field to welcome in new people to the basement.” So don’t worry, if you are new like me, I have been assured we will catch on quick!
Throughout the six month run they will do 8 shows a week, 6 of them are matinees to accommodate the majority of their audiences. “The LAUGHTER in the matinees is fabulous! It’s church groups or community groups who have this opportunity to be together, together and laughing.” The show itself is an original musical with a wonderful 5 part harmony with songs that are “catchy and fun to sing”. You can expect a lot of Carol Burnett-esqe physical comedy, ”we are always looking for something to climb on, I get the giggles every show and break because we are having fun and that translates.”
About the show: The Church Basement Ladies are at it again! In the 9th installment of the highly successful series, the year is 1975 and all your favorite characters are back! Whether this is your first visit to the basement or you’ve seen ‘em all, you won’t want to miss this brand new show. Come along as the ladies don their polyester pantsuits and sing, dance and laugh their way thru this hilarious and touching new musical, PLOWIN’ THRU.
Last thoughts from Grosch, “It is very sentimental coming back for this installment. It is our first time all back together since before COVID and after the hiatus we are excited to be back in the basement together again.” I’ll be in the audience soon and hope you make it out to Burnsville too see what shenanigans these ladies get up to!
WHEN YOU GO
- Location: Black Box Theater.
- Date: September 7, 2022 – February 15, 2023.
- Prices: $34.00 – $42.00 (Discounts available for groups).
- Run Time: This performance lasts approximately 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission.
- Tickets: https://www.ames-center.com/church-basement-ladies.html