Book & Lyrics: Mary Bracken Phillips
Music: Jan Fairchild, Bill Schneider & Mary Bracken Phillips
Croton on Hudson, NY 1992. A run down poorly attended Episcopal church called St. Augustine’s, has been operating at a loss for so many years the diocese has decided to sell the property to a condominium developer. The prospect of losing his church is too much for the elderly Father Wade who suffers a heart attack at a vestry meeting and is taken to the hospital leaving the elderly vestry members (four ladies over over sixty) on their own. Desperate to save the church, the ladies: Jane, Molly, Alta and Hettie Mae, consider the usual bake sales, rummage sales, etc., but conclude they’ve tried them all before and haven’t made bupkas. After considerable debate, they come up with a scheme to run a phone sex operation in the church parish hall. As their only experience with story telling consists of the fairy tales they’ve told their children and grandchildren, they get off to a rather rough start, but soon develop a style all their own. Unfortunately, just as business starts to boom, Father John Calloway, the pragmatic priest in charge of the diocesan finances arrives to audit St. Augustine’s books and conclude the sale of the church. At the same time, Father Wade’s neer do well daughter, Dorothea, the radio “talk show host who knows no limits” arrives home to take care of her father. Dorothea hates Croton, despises religion and takes an instant dislike to Father Calloway but when to her horror she discovers what’s going on in the parish hall, the old ladies con her into “distracting” Calloway while they continue in their efforts to save the church. In the chaos that ensues, Father Calloway finds faith, Dorothea finds love, St. Augustine’s finds a new congregation and the old ladies make a lot of money.
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