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Church ladies make return to Sierra Rep
The show Church Basement Ladies: A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement, starring Catherine Gordon, Deb Mainard, Elizabeth McMonagle, Regina Harbour, Christopher Vettel will run through Nov. 27. - photo by Photo contributed by Rich Miller

The Church Basement Ladies are once again taking up residence at the Sierra Repertory’s Fallon House Theatre.

Through Nov. 27, the theatre is staging “A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement.” Directed by original Sierra Rep church lady Becky Saunders, the production will feature a brand new cast along with upbeat, fun new songs and story.

The year is 1960, and a reformation is underway. Against the changing tide, the Church Basement Ladies stand strong in their faith and in their friendships. Beverly, the young daughter of Karin, gets her first pair of high heels for confirmation; their very nervous Pastor makes it to the alter on time; Mrs. Snustad and Mrs. Gilmerson plan a food booth at the County Fair to raise money; and Mrs. Engelson embarks on a spontaneous driving lesson.

The Lutheran pastor's pretty young girlfriend causes some commotion among the faithful and no one is taking it harder than senior stateswoman Vivian, played by SRT newcomer Regina Harbour. Young Beverly, played by Elizabeth McMonagle, is caught between being a girl and becoming a woman as she awaits her confirmation during a time when women's liberation is just beginning to be a topic of discussion. Her mother, Karin, played by local actress Catherine Gordon, is on an emotional rollercoaster that has her veering between tirades and tears, while Mavis, played by another local actress, Debi Woodall, is a salt-of-the-earth type who is worried about losing part of her farm to Eisenhower’s new interstate. The pastor, played by Christopher Vettel, is quite the nervous groom and delivers a sort of running commentary from the pulpit, not of Bible verses but rather the often-ridiculous church "news" unfolding around him.

Director Becky Sanders played Mavis in the first in the series of “The Church Basement Ladies” and the sequel, “A Second Helping.”

“A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement” runs through Nov. 27 with performances at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays; 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and either 2 or 7 p.m. Thursdays.

Tickets are from $32 to $37, with senior, student and child discounts available. The show is rated G. For tickets and information visit or call the Box Office at 209-532-3120.