Nebraska Rep opens with 'Church Basement Ladies'

Church Basement Ladies
Church Basement Ladies

The Nebraska Repertory Theatre, the professional theater at UNL, opens its season with "Church Basement Ladies" by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlke with music and lyrics by Drew Jansen, inspired by the books of Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson, authors of the best-seller "Growing Up Lutheran."

This new musical comedy follows the four women who run the basement kitchen of a small-town Minnesota Lutheran Church in the '60s. Four scenes peer in on the ladies and Pastor Gunderson through preparation for a lutefisk and lefse supper in a snow storm, a friend's funeral, where they provide the "dead spread," an Easter morning fundraiser luau, and a wedding where the bride seems to have gone mission. The ladies are Deb Watassek, Betty Colbert, Melissa Lewis, Jaimie Pruden and Dustin Witte as the pastor. It is directed by Virginia Smith with musical direction by Vincent T. Learned and choreography by Noelle Bohaty.

Dates are July 7, 8, 9, 15, 27, 29 and Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and July 24 at 2 p.m. in Howell Theatre, Temple Building, 12th and R streets.

It runs in rotation with the other two NRT productions, "Becky's New Car," opening July 13 and "The 39 Steps," opening July 20.

Individual tickets are $20, $18 faculty/staff and senior citizens, and $10 students with ID. Season passes are $50, $45 faculty/staff and senior citizens, and $30 students and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute members. Tickets are available at the Lied Center Ticket Office at 402-472-4747 or 800-432-3231, 301 N. 12th St. or on-line at

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