Nunsense Review - Maybe Dancing is the Way to Pray

 

Welcome back to the Little Sisters of Hoboken! Sad to say, only five nuns remain in the order after a tasty soup that caused the unfortunate demise of their 50-some fellow sisters from food poisoning. Now the remaining nuns - who were away playing bingo at soup time - are having a fund-raiser so that they can bury the last of their colleagues, currently “on ice” in the convent freezer.

 

 

Lisa Dyson, Shayna Gabrielle, and Kelley Dorney - Photo by Christopher J. Thume

 

We the audience are treated to their antics as they sing, dance, tell jokes, and generally forge their way through their show. Presented at Mount Saint Helen’s School in Hoboken, which they now operate after their leper colony failed, the Little Sisters do their best under the iron hand of Mother Superior, Sister Mary Regina (Michelle Holmes). Unfortunately, Sister Mary Amnesia (Kelley Dorney) can’t remember her past after hitting her head on a cross - but does a terrific ballet anyway as she stumbles through. Sister Mary Hubert, Mistress of Novices (Renee Cohen), can’t help but eye her own potential for becoming the Mother Superior, while Sister Robert Anne (Lisa Dyson) just wants to be a star. Sister Mary Leo (Shayna Gabrielle) rounds out the cast of talented performers who manage to sing and even tap dance in their black habits.

 

Shayna Gabrielle, Lisa Dyson, Renee Cohen, Michelle Holmes, and Kelley Dorney - Photo by Christopher J. Thume

 

 

Director Kristin Tower-Rowles does a great job of coordinating the sight jokes and keeping the show moving with the talented contributions of William A. Reilly’s musical direction and Lisaun Whittingham’s choreography. Besides a musically entertaining evening, the audience also gets to laugh with the best of them. Dan Goggin’s NUNSENSE is a very funny show, and the cast and production crew manage to make it seem effortless as they tickle everyone’s funny bone. Staging is simple and effective, reminding us that this is a school auditorium and that these are amateurs. Aren’t we lucky that these amateurs manage to pull off their numbers with such professionalism? NUNSENSE just seems to get better with time, and this production continues the tradition of delighting and amusing a fresh audience.

 

 

Lisa Dyson as Sister Robert Ann - Photo by Christopher J. Thume

 

NUNSENSE runs through January 17, 2016 at the Crown City Theatre (located on the campus of St. Matthew’s Church), 11031 Camarillo Street, North Hollywood, CA 91602. Performances are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 3 p.m. (No show on Christmas day 12/25/15). Tickets cost $30 (students and seniors $20). For reservations, call 818-605-5685 or go online at www.crowncitytheatre.com.

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