Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Second Helping
(The Church Basement Ladies sequel)
BDT Stage: Through November 8

     Even if that old time religion doesn’t figure into your favorite subject matter for a musical, you may find yourself falling in love with the strait-laced ladies who are stirring the pot in this Lutheran church basement.
Left to right: Sarah Grover, Bren. Eyestone Burron, Wayne Kennedy, Barb Reeves and Tracy Warren.

     Frothy, fluffy and feather-weight, this “sequel to “The Church Basement Ladies” is a musical designed for a family crowd. On the night this reviewer was in attendance there were several church groups, which, from the sound of the guffaws, they must already be lying in wait for a “third helping.”

     Although the cast is made up of a number of BDT Stage favorites, much of the plum schtick is ladled out to Barb Reeves (Vivian) and Bren. Eyestone Burron (Mavis).

     When Eyestone. Burron is onstage it’s impossible to keep your eyes off of her. This actor is the Imogene Coca/Carol Burnett of Colorado theatre. Nearly all of her outrageous facial expressions send aftershocks of the convulsive variety through her seemingly unsuspecting physiology while eliciting gales of laughter from the audience.

     In this installment of the CBLs however, it’s Ms. Reeves who gets the plum role. Her singing of “Vivian’s Bad Trip” to “The Cities” is a comedic wowzer. This artist's vocalization of Dennis Curley’s and Drew Jansen’s very funny song is made all the funnier by Reeves’ outrageous glissandos.

     Sarah Grover (Beverly), who enchanted us all as Dorothy in BDT Stage’s “The Wizard of Oz,” finds out once again that coming home to love and affection is about as good as it gets.

     Tracy Warren (Henry Award for her performance of the role of Irene Molloy for “Hello Dolly”) provides sparkle and warmth as Beverly’s mother.

     Wayne Kennedy, who will play Tevye in BDT Stage’s “Fiddler on the Roof” next month, is a hoot as the pastor.

     Music conductor Neal Dunfee accompanies the cast tinkling the ivories with his usual professionalism.
     Jessica Hindsley did the amiable choreography.
     The intentionally frumpy costume design is by Linda Morken.

     There is a glossary of terms provided in the program for those who are unfamiliar with dishes such as Lutefisk and Rummegrot and “who don’t know how to speak Minnesotan.”

     If you have any Lutheran friends or neighbors be sure to invite them. The jokes stem mainly from a down-home take on old-fashioned religious faith peppered with a mildly self-deprecating Scandinavian flavor.

Uff Da!

BDT Stage is the new name for what for 37 years has been  known as Boulder’s Dinner Theatre. It’s located at 5501 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder

For tickets call the box office at 303-449-6000Marlowe's Musings

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