THE NEW THEATRE PRESENTS
CINDY WILLIAMS Starring in The Original CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES
Inspired by the books of
Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson
written by Jim Stowell & Jessica Zuehlke
music & lyrics by Drew Jansen
Directed by Dennis D. Hennessy
This outrageous musical comedy set box office records at New Theatre & Restaurant and sold out for years in Minneapolis. Why? Well, it’s part Nunsense, part Prairie Home Companion and totally hilarious. The music is toe-tapping, the humor is nonstop and the characters can’t help but remind you of some colorful characters you may have encountered in your own church. From the elderly matriarch of the kitchen to the young bride-to-be learning the proper order of things, we see these ladies handle a record-breaking Christmas dinner, a Hawaiian Easter Fund Raiser, and a steaming hot July wedding. They stave off potential disasters, share and debate recipes, and keep the Pastor on due course while thoroughly enjoying, (and tolerating) each other in a rural Minnesota church. Funny and down to earth, audiences will recognize these ladies as they witness the church year unfold from below the house of God.
THE CHICAGO SUN says “If laughter is the best medicine, this comedy would raise the dead!”
Our production of the original CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES stars New Theatre favorite Cindy Williams. Cindy, of course, starred as Shirley Feeney in the epic ABC sit-com, Laverne and Shirley.
Before her television career rocketed Cindy to stardom, she had developed a very successful feature film career appearing with Maggie Smith in Travels With My Aunt, directed by George Cukor. Next, she co-starred with Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, and Harrison Ford in American Graffiti directed by George Lucas, a low-budget film which went on to become a box office smash and film classic, and which garnered her a British Films nomination for best supporting actress. Following American Graffiti, Williams played a pivotal role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, co-starring with Gene Hackman.
A woman of many talents, Williams’ stage credits include the national tour of Death Trap with Elliot Gould, STEEL MAGNOLIAS as Ouiser Boudreaux, and she made her Broadway debut in the role of Mrs. Tottendale in the award-winning musical THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. She was also in the national tour of GREASE.
Cindy Williams* (Karin Engelsen) is most recognized for her role as “Shirley Feeney” in the TV comedy series LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY. Cindy also has enjoyed the privilege of working with extraordinary directors in great films.
Born in Van Nuys, Calif., Cindy first became interested in acting during high school. After graduation she attended L.A. City College where she majored in Theatre Arts. After leaving college, she landed her first television roles on ROOM 222, NANNY AND THE PROFESSOR and LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE. Some guest-starring roles include LAW AND ORDER: SUV, SEVENTH HEAVEN and 8 SIMPLE RULES. Some recent television credits include starring in an episode of THE ODD COUPLE for CBS, A DREAM OF CHRISTMAS for Hallmark Channel and SAM AND CAT for Nickelodeon.
Cindy’s stage credits include, among other productions, the national tour of GREASE playing Miss Lynch, the national tour of DEATHTRAP with Elliot Gould, THE FEMALE ODD COUPLE with Joanne Worley, STEEL MAGNOLIAS as Ouiser Boudreaux and, in 2007, she made her Broadway debut in the role of Mrs. Tottendale in the award-winning musical THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. Most recently, Cindy appeared in MENOPAUSE: THE MUSICAL in Las Vegas for three years, then reprising her role at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine this past July, She also co-starred in the premiere of MIDDLETOWN with Don Most, Didi Conn and Adrian Zmed at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas as well reprising her role with Most, Conn and Zmed at The Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania. This past spring, she played the evil Mrs. Meers in the Drayton Productions’ THOUROUGLY MODERN MILLIE at the Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada.
Her first film was for Roger Corman in GAS-S-S-S with Talia Shire and Ben Vereen. She appeared in TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT with Maggie Smith, directed by George Cukor, and THE CONVERSATION with Gene Hackman, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Next she co-starred with Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford in AMERICAN GRAFFITI directed by George Lucas, a low-budget film that went on to become a box office smash and film classic.
Among her favorite honors are her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, her TV Land award for Fan Favorite as well as winning Best Actress at the L. A. Comedy Film Festival for the Indy film STEALING ROSES. Cindy also garnered a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) nomination for best supporting actress in AMERICAN GRAFFITI. Unfortunately, she was beat out by Ingrid Bergman. Cindy still wonders how the heck that happened.
Recently her book “Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life” was released to much critical acclaim and has recently been released in paperback.
"Pastor E.L. Gunderson"
- Seating Begins
- Dinner Begins
- Open Curtain