TOPEKA -- William Christopher's fictitious play setting of Cornucopia, Minnesota, didn't really think much about Thanksgiving this week. He says the ladies in the church basement there are usually busy with a lutefisk festival or their famed 'spread for the dead.'
Christopher, best known to television audiences as Father Francis Mulcahy of the hit series, "M*A*S*H" has brought his off-the-wall cast to Topeka for three more shows of "Church Basement Ladies" at TPAC Saturday and Sunday.
(Tickets are available at tpac.tix.org or at the TPAC Box Office. Showtimes are 2:00 and 7:30 Saturday, with the show's finale at 2:00 Sunday afternoon. It is the final U.S. performance of the play this year before their holiday break.)
Christopher (whom we had never seen before wearing a shirt and tie) told me he's thrilled to be performing in a theatre with the 1930s modernized building style of TPAC. Even before the play opened Friday night, the famed father said he would love to return to Topeka for a longer run of "Ladies" with more than four shows next time. He's performed a long stretch of the production at Kansas City's New Dinner Theatre in years past. As for the holiday, he told us on "Live at Five" that he'll be getting in touch with Jamie Farr, and possibly Gary Burghoff, to see if some of the M*A*S*H cast members like Loretta Swit or Alan Alda can get together with him for a regular holiday reunion meal.
Not like something you'd find down in the basement of the church in Cornucopia!