Monday, November 20, 2023

Two Shows Coming to Celebrate the Season

Christmastime is here and the Western Plains Arts Association invites you to swing into the season with After Midnight, and then celebrate “Away in a basement” with the hilarious Church Basement Ladies.

Both programs are made possible through major grants from The Dane G. Hansen Foundation and the Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundations for Logan County and Thomas County. Admission for each program is by WPAA season ticket or adults $20, students $10 at the door.


After Midnight swing band

After Midnight, Colorado’s premier swing band, will share their infectious music Sunday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. central at the Cultural Arts Center, Colby.

Award winning clarinetist Roger Campbell leads the hottest jazz band since the swing Era. Colorado’s Premier Swing Band is the only sextet featured in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame at Red Rocks. Swinging hard for nearly 25 years, this extraordinary group of musicians has performed hundreds of concerts. They conquer dizzying charts by the likes of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Lionel Hampton, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. You’ll hear great swing music recently made popular by the likes of Dianna Krall, Michael BublĂ©, and Harry Connick Jr.


The band’s sound and style is modeled after the famous Benny Goodman Sextet but with a sophisticated and vintage vibe. Their hard driving swing is refreshing and infectious, inspiring dancers and bringing toe-tapping joy to listeners of all ages. This music is incredibly difficult to play and they enjoy making it look and sound effortless. After Midnight features clarinet, vibraphone, piano, bass, guitar, and drums. 

Visit the group’s website

Church Basement Ladies

Mark your holiday calendar for Thursday, Dec. 7. The Church Basement Ladies are returning to Oakley High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. central with “Away in a Basement.” 

And out of the basement shall come a Church Basement program of good tidings, great humor and joy! The ladies are serving it up again, This time around it’s a Christmas show.

Troupe America, Inc., the Producer of the nationally acclaimed musical comedy Church Basement Ladies and Church Basement Ladies 2: A Second Helping presents their musical comedy Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas.

Around 25 years ago, authors and humorists Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson, the creators and writers of the award-winning book, Growing Up Lutheran, and 10 other Scandinavian-American humor books, teamed up with Twin Cities based production company, TroupeAmerica, Inc. and it's Executive Producer Curt Wollan to turn their writings into a new musical comedy entitled Church Basement Ladies.

Martin and Nelson, who met in 1964 during Freshman week at Augsburg College in Minneapolis became life-long friends and business partners who co-authored books, and were in high demand as speakers/performers throughout the country, billing themselves as 100 percent Norwegian/Lutheran farm girls.  Their churches were their second homes.

Wollan wanted to create a show that celebrated the under-appreciated, hard-working, dedicated, ladies who tirelessly worked in the church kitchen-cooking, creating, and arranging the food and coffee for weddings, funerals, youth gatherings, and pot luck suppers for the masses. These ladies are our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and neighbor ladies. Martin and Nelson had written the stories that were ripe for the stage. 

Set in the ‘60s era, The Church Basement Ladies series is a celebration of the church basement kitchen and the stalwart, stable, sturdy, ladies who live and breathe the church basement protocol while attempting to solve the problems of a rural Minnesota church. The success of the Church Basement Ladies series has been beyond phenomenal. Enthusiastic patrons, who come from all faiths and religions, echo the same sentiment when commenting on the show "those same ladies live in my church basement, and I can even tell you their names."

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