The Church Basement Ladies' RISE UP, O MEN to Play Plymouth Playhouse

Curt Wollan and Troupe America Inc., the producer of the national hit musical comedy series The Church Basement Ladies announce the ladies return to Plymouth Playhouse with a completely new look at what happens in their Church Basement kitchen. You've met the ladies, now meet the men. Told from a male perspective (with the ladies), the truth is revealed about what happens in the kitchen of the church basement in this hilarious yet touching new musical titled RISE UP, O MEN, the sixth in the popular series, previews August 17-19, opening August 20 and continuing through November 13, 2016.

A Lutheran take on the classical "hero" journey, RISE UP, O MEN is the story of men (and women) who become larger than themselves; it's the story of a group of farmers and John Deere dealers, and church basement ladies, who rise to the requirement of heroism in order to help their community and its future. RISE UP, O MEN is a new musical featuring the men of the church and your favorite church basement Ladies who serve them. The year is 1964, in the basement kitchen of the Lutheran Church in rural Minnesota. As these hard-working farmers discuss their scrap lumber piles and their tractors and preparations for the Centennial Celebration, they unintentionally disrupt the order of the kitchen...but that's what happens when you let the roosters in the hen house.

Executive Producer Curt Wollan's creative team includes a new voice in the development of RISE UP, O MEN. Graydon Royce, well-known Star Tribune theater critic joins the creative team as a contributing writer and co-lyricist with sketch comedy writer Greta Grosch, who wrote the sequel, Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping, the holiday show Away in the Basement, A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement and The Last (Potluck Supper. They are joined by composer/lyricist, Dennis Curley. Curley who co-wrote the music and lyrics with Drew Jansen for A Second Helping, the music and lyrics for the holiday version, Away in the Basement and A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement. Directed by Wollan, Wendy Short Hays is choreographer with set design by Jared Grohs, costume design by Trina Benedict and musical direction by Dennis Curley. Curley has written 12 memorable songs such as A Happy Wife Makes For a Happy Life, Disaster and Jiggle It that are sure to leave you laughing, crying and humming those tunes all the way home.


Original cast members, Janet Paone, Greta Grosch and Dorian Chalmers return true to their same style of down-to-earth humor and charm of their kitchen in the church basement. Audiences know them as Janet Paone, the "Widow Snustad" (Vivian), the matriarch of the kitchen; Greta Grosch, the able-bodied farm wife and jack-of-all-trades, "Mrs. Gilmer Gilmerson" (Mavis); Dorian Chalmers, "Mrs. Elroy Engelson" (Karin), the best cook in the kitchen. The men in the ladies lives include original cast member Tim Drake in his usual pastoral duties, Jeff March as Elroy Engelson, owner of the John Deere dealership and husband to Karin and Peter Colburn as neighbor Carl.


The inspiration for all six installments of the musical comedy series is based on the books of author/humorists Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson including the bestseller Growing Up Lutheran and originated at the Plymouth Playhouse. The phenomenal success story behind Church Basement Ladies began in February 2005 with a series of regional workshops and performances. According to Wollan, "This was a great response to our "out-of-town tryout." The show returned to the Twin Cities for further grooming and opened September 2005 performing to 700,000 patrons. Now in it's eleventh year, no matter the version, no matter your faith, audiences have instantly fallen in love with these "Steel Magnolias" of the church. Currently, this popular homegrown musical has become the most successful show produced both locally and nationally by Troupe America in its twenty-nine year history. All five versions of the show have toured Nationally or been licensed in all contiguous 48 states and Canada with more than three million Audience members that have found connections with their favorite characters in their own mothers and grandmothers onstage.


All performances of Church Basement Ladies in Rise Up, O Men are at the Plymouth Playhouse, running August 17 through November 15, 2016 with previews August 17, 18,19, and press night Saturday, August 20.

Performances dates, time and prices:

Wednesday 1 pm $29

Thursday 1 pm $29

Thursday 7:30 pm $36

Friday 7:30 pm $36

Saturday 3 pm $38

Saturday 7:30 pm $40

Sunday 2 pm $38

Overnight "Stay & Play " packages are available (includes a room for two at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, a dinner voucher at the Green Mill Restaurant and two theater tickets to the current show, all under one roof). The Plymouth Playhouse is located at I-494 and Hwy. 55, twenty minutes west from downtown Minneapolis, in suburban Plymouth, Minnesota. For ticket information call the Plymouth Playhouse Box Office at 763-553-1600 x 1 or visit Tickets are also available online. For groups of 10 plus call 763-383-1073.


For press photos go to For media inquires and appearances please contact: Linda Twiss, Publicist /Troupe America, Inc. 612-333-3302 x 213,

- 30 -

Zoey's Playlist on NBC

Related Articles View More Minneapolis / St. Paul Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You

Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement