If you know the seven different kinds of pickle to serve at a funeral, and the difference between Andersen and Anderson is of vital importance to you, then hurry along to Overture Center and get a big green Jell-O scoop of Church Basement Ladies before it's all gobbled up. You'll be glad you did.
Written by husband-and-wife team Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlke, with music and lyrics by Drew Jansen, this frothy little comedy is fairly bursting at the seams with folksy humor and Nordic know-how. The story, centered on four episodes set in the basement of a Lutheran church in Cornucopia, Minn. in 1964, is as slender as the comedy is broad. But the memorable music, wittily engaging lyrics and the sheer blustery bravado of the acting carry the evening along.
Director Curt Wollan has engendered a great sense of camaraderie in his cast. Some pieces of business outstay their welcome, but there are some wonderful laugh-out-loud scenes and several touching moments. It is the sheer joie de vivre of the quartet of Midwestern matrons, however, that really makes the evening so enjoyable.