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‘Away in the Basement’ brings holiday tidings
away in the basement
Becky Saunders, Robyne Parrish, Chris Vettel, and Quinn Farley are starring in Sierra Rep.’s “Away In The Basement, A Church Basement Ladies Christmas" (Photo contributed).

Sierra Rep has gotten into the holiday spirit at the Historic Fallon House Theatre in Columbia State Park with a new musical comedy: “Away in the Basement, A Church Basement Ladies Christmas.”

“Away in the Basement, A Church Basement Ladies Christmas” takes the audience to 1959 and the day of the Sunday School Christmas Program. In the midst of holiday preparations and sprinklings of love in the air, the ladies in their witty, down-to-earth style are creating their own memories from Christmases past and present. Content to do things the way they have always been done yet pondering new ideas, the reality of everyday life hits home as they plan the Sunday School Christmas Program. As the children rehearse up in the sanctuary, several of the ladies of the kitchen are finishing up the treat bags filled with apples, peanuts and ribbon candy while the others put the final touches on the nativity pieces. As they mend old bathrobe costumes, discuss the politics of who’s going to play the various roles, little do the ladies know what surprises are in store for them. Known for their hilarious antics and subtle charm, they are once again called upon to step in and save the day.

In developing an all-new holiday show, “Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas” is the third installment in the highly successful production of the musical comedy “Church Basement Ladies.”

The cast of “Away in The Basement” features: Chris Vettel as Pastor E.L. Gunderson; Karla Franko as Mrs. Lars Snustad (Vivian); Becky Saunders as Mrs. Gilmer Gilmerson (Mavis); Robyne Parrish as Mrs. Elroy Engelson (Karin); and Quinn Farley as Beverly Signe Engelson. This production will be directed by Becky Saunders.

Tickets for “Away in The Basement” can be purchased online at, or by phone at (209) 532-3120, or by visiting the East Sonora Theatre Box Office from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, located at 13891 Mono Way in Sonora, or visiting the Fallon House Box Office two hours prior to curtain, located at 11175 Washington St, Columbia, CA 95310.

Performances at the Historic Fallon House Theatre in Columbia State Park continue through Dec. 9. Performance times are at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. They have also added a matinee at 2 p.m. Nov. 23. Ticket prices range from $32 to $47. Discounts for seniors, children, and students (18 and over with student ID) are available for all performances. Special discounts for groups of 20 or more are also available.