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Whatsoever You Doo-Wop
Robbie Mancina (as Vivian [Mrs. Lars Snustad]). The photo is from the last production in 2010. This year Mancina will be Mavis.
Photo by Paul Nixdorf.

by Robbie Mancina

I've had the privilege of creating the role of Vivian, the matriarch of the Lutheran kitchen, in the locally produced musical comedy, "Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas." It is story number three in a Minnesota-based, six-part series. I had been the understudy for Vivian and Mavis, the farm wife, so it was exciting to be asked to become the primary actress.

One might think that Vivian's song, "Whatsoever You Doo-Wop," would be filled with hilarious comedy, as audiences had come to love in the Church Basement Ladies musicals. The title alone creates a tongue-in-cheek undertone, and Mavis and Karin (the mom), are her doo-wop back-ups. Yet overall, it's a sincere and sober song.

"Whatsoever You Doo-Wop" sends a beautiful message, especially for the holiday season, about helping those in need.

Whatsoever you do
For the misfit and outcast,
For the hobo on the street,
When you give him food to eat,
It's your soul you're nourishing.
And the blessings accrue;
Let there be no more doubt cast.
Wheresoever you may go,
Let your every action show
Love is real and flourishing.

Some of the language in the musical is dated - such as "hobo" in the lyrics, or "bum" in the monologue - to the play's 1959-era setting. But the message of taking care of everyone in your community - whosoever you meet - is timeless.
Robbie Mancina is a freelance actress and drama educator in the Twin Cities.

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What: Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas
Where: Plymouth Playhouse, 2705 Annapolis Lane N., Plymouth
When: through December 31, 2016
Cost: $29-40 (plus group rates)
FFI: 763-553-1600 x1 or www.plymouthplayhouse.com

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