BWW CD Reviews: NUNSENSE: 30th ANNIVERSARY CAST RECORDING is Vividly Fun

BWW CD Reviews: NUNSENSE: 30th ANNIVERSARY CAST RECORDING is Vividly FunNUNSENSE premiered in 1983 at The Duplex in New York City. It was expanded and then re-opened Off-Broadway on December 12, 1985 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. There it won four Outer Critics' Circle Awards, including "Best Off-Broadway Musical." It moved to the Douglas Fairbanks Theater, where it ran for over 10 years. NUNSENSE is the second-longest running Off-Broadway show in history, and had become an international phenomenon by the time it closed. To celebrate 30 years of NUNSENSE, Dan Goggin's show about the Little Sisters of Hoboken received a new official cast recording titled NUNSENSE: 30th ANNIVERSARY CAST RECORDING.

The new and definitive recording of NUNSENSE's score pristinely presents Dan Goggin's witty and clever musical in all of its reverent yet humorous glory. Each of the memorably cute musical numbers is present on the recording, giving fans of, newcomers to, and future producers of the tuneful show a treasure they can enjoy over and over again. Michael Rice's Musical Arrangements and David Nyberg's Percussion Arrangements, expand the sound to include the previously unrecorded complete orchestrations on this disc as well.

Singing Revered Mother Mary Regina, Mary Stout conveys the character's signature bossiness while filling her numbers with that unmistakable and insurmountable show business razzmatazz. She showcases her vibrant vocals with utter razzle-dazzle on "Turn Up the Spotlight" and "Just a Coupl'a Sisters."

Bambi Jones' Sister Mary Hubert is divinely soulful and infuses a glitzy Gospel flavor into "Holier Than Thou," taking listeners to church. Her blustering bravado and showmanship is on immaculate display throughout the album as well, making numbers like "The Biggest Ain't the Best," "Tackle That Temptation With a Time-Step," and "Just a Coupl'a Sisters" all the more joyful and fun.

Brash Sister Robert Anne, sung with an ardently brassy belt by Christine Mild, always yearns for the spotlight. She makes "Playing Second Fiddle" and "I Just Want to be a Star" relatable to all of those times that we feel a little less than important. She shows a more delicate side on the sweetly melodious "Growing Up Catholic."

Jeanne Tinker's Sister Mary Amnesia is adeptly charming. She shines brilliantly on "So You Want to be a Nun," voicing both Mary Amnesia and Mary Annette, Amnesia's ventriloquist's dummy. Her charisma is tangible, making the puns, plays on words, and jokes land without flaw. Her twang-filled "I Could've Gone to Nashville" is a wonderfully elegiac swan song to our most ambitious and lost dreams.

Stephanie Wahl sings Sister Mary Leo with cajoling affability. She brings sparkling life to "Benedicite/Morning at the Convent," "The Biggest Ain't the Best," and "The Drive-In."

One of the most fascinating aspects of the album is all of the crisp, clean, and sublime harmonies featured on the duets, trios, and group numbers. This 30th Anniversary Cast does an excellent and laudable job every time the score calls for them to sing with one another. These women can blend beautifully, giving the record some of its most radiantly blissful moments.

Musical Direction by Leo P. Carusone is vibrant and full of character. He ensures that listeners know who sings each song and he has also perfectly coached the women to emulate the various styles of Broadway singing referenced in the lyrics. Likewise, Leo P. Carusone on the Piano, Patrick Q. Kelly on Synthesizers, Alexandra Jenkins on Violin, Jason Ingram on Trombone, John Trombetta and David Olson on Trumpets, Roz Kozak on Redds, and David Nyberg on Percussion make the score resonate with infectious energy.

The comical and vividly fun NUNSENSE: 30th ANNIVERSARY CAST RECORDING was recorded on April 2, 2013 at Kaleidoscope Sound in Union City, New Jersey. Mix Supervisor Ryan Edward Wise effectively mixed the album, keeping the vocals and orchestra at agreeable levels while assuring that listeners impeccably hear every sound.

NUNSENSE: 30th ANNIVERSARY CAST RECORDING was released digitally and physically on May 3, 2013. It can be purchased at CDBaby.com, iTunes, and Amazon. For more information, please visit http://www.nunsense.com.


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