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Theater review: Church Basement Ladies

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Beef & Boards. Church Basement Ladies is a microcosm of life in a small community in Minnesota, akin to Garrison Keeler's mythical hometown. The foursome — a matriarch, two in the middle generation and the youngest, daring to go off to college and date outside the Lutheran structure — together with the pastor incrementally reveal a layered panorama of personal and community held beliefs and ways of conducting "business," holidays, life cycles and prayer. Eddie Curry, Licia Watson, Katherine Proctor and Lisa Bark each convey a dimensional, believable character. But it's Karen Pappas, with a Lucille Ball-like penchant for physical comedy, who has us laughing 'til the tears roll down. No spoilers here. You have to see it all for yourself: a meticulous set, sprightly choreography, good singing and a delightful ability to make silence speak volumes. Curt Wollan directed this musical comedy written by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlkem, music and lyrics by Drew Jansen. Inspired by the books of Janet Letness Martin and Suzann Nelson, including Growing Up Lutheran. Through Sept. 3. Tickets: 317-872-9664; or log on www.beefandboards.com.

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