Sunday, December 17, 2017

Church Basement Ladies at the Lied

If you grew up in a small, rural community anywhere in the United States, you know Church Basement Ladies - they are the glue that holds their church and maybe even their community together. Someone decided to make a muscal series about Minnesota Lutheran ladies who prepare all the food, look out for the pastor and pretty much run things in their church (probably stolen from Prairie Home Companion). This production's ensemble cast - 4 ladies and the pastor - were all excellent. Mrs Snustad isn't handling the 1960 Reformation very well - she doesn't like the new red hymanals; Beverly is working on memorizing her catechism for her Confirmation; Karin is finally driving the family pickup; Mavis is losing some of her beloved farm land to the new superhighway and the widowed pastor is going to marry the new church secretary from the "cities'. Voices are outstanding whether solo or ensemble and the choreography is innovative and fluid. The set is great - the Catholic church basement, where the wedding reception is being held due to flooding of the Lutheran basement is just like their own, except for the crucifix and the pope's portrait. Lots of laughs and some hidden messages about change. Worth the money - and it'll remind you of your own church basement, unless you're from the "cities".

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Larry the Cable Guy at the Pinnacle Bank Arena

(and Jeff Foxworthy)

He's profane, irreverent, has a wierd redneck accent and is hilarious.  How big is Larry - he had Jeff Foxworthy open for his Team Jack Foundation benefit. Where does he keep coming up with the new stuff? The subjects are much the same, but the jokes are different (Wal-Mart, colonoscopy, weather and Armour hotdogs). Larry does one-liners at about a mile a minute - he's so fast that sometimes the audience is left behind - or maybe Nebraskans aren't as redneck as they would like to believe.

Jeff Foxworthy tells stories - oh my gosh, does he tell stories. Being a bit slower to develop than Larry's one liners, the audience could follow better and could usually get the punch line. Jeff is cerebral, Larry is visceral (look it up on Google - or in a dictionary). After they both finished, they came on stage together, reminisced, answered audience questions and introduced the Hoffman family.

The venue is great - Pinnacle Bank Arena has a much better sound system than Century Link in Omaha.

The only drawback was the inconsiderate $#!^#(@] sitting ahead of us inhaling his e-cigarette, which wouldn't have been bad if he hadn't exhaled. The ventilation system pulled his cloud of perfumed {&@? right into our faces. You know who you are, you arrogant ?&!(<.

If laughter is the best medicine we got a year's worth on Friday night.

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