Musical Direction by Nancy Fueyo
Choreography by Stephen Antonelli
Saturday, September 21, 2013
BRAVO! "You don't have to be Catholic to LOVE "NUNSENSE"!
The Carrollwood Players has produced an array of stunning plays this past season. "NUNSENSE" -The Mega-Musical is the first musical production that I have seen there and it is a WOW!
The evening began, before the performance, with nuns selling Bingo cards in the lobby, addressing patrons with amusing and whimsical ad-libs. Father Devine rallied the "girls" and the patrons into the "auditorium" for the Bingo game. A prize was awarded to the winner and then the show began.
Directors Jim Russell
and James Cass have assembled a well-rehearsed, talented, ensemble of actors. Each of them were very comfortable delivering the one line jokes and adlibs with audience interaction.
Pam Rufrano leads the cast as the Irish accented, disciplinarian, Reverend Mother, Sister Mary Cordelia. Her getting high,"RUSH" monologue, brought the audience to hysterics, a highlight of her performance.
As the wise-cracking, Brooklyn born, Sister Robert Anne, Nicole Bridgens was outstanding. Her two solos, "I Just Want to Be a Star"and "Growing Up Catholic", became a showcase for her talents to shine. Ms. Bridgens displayed her remarkable musicality by keeping up perfectly, with the brisk tempos of the tracked accompaniment.
as the "vacant" and naive, Sister Mary Amnesia, displayed her vocal range, with the faux-operatic, "So You Want to Be a Nun" to the country western style, "I Could've Gone to Nashville". She won over the audience with her interactive "Quiz", puppetry, and humorous adlibs.
The "Dying Nun Ballet" was performed on pointe, with great comic relief, by Hillary Lusignan as Sister Mary Leo. She was lovely, as the young, petite, novitiate.
As Sister Mary Huber
t, Ann Lehman, was perfectly cast, delivering her dry, deadpan, one line zingers. In the 11th hour, she got the audience clapping and swaying in their seats, with the gospel-like, "Holier Than Thou".
Rounding out the cast were Nancy Fueyo, Chelsea Orvis, Kendra Langlie, Laura Roberts
, Jeanede MacLean, Susan Dearden, Heather Haskell, James Cass, and an emergency replacement,(for an ailing Josh Duart), Chris Dietz.
Bravo!, to Director Jim Russell
and James Cass and choreographer Steven Antonelli, for staging a delightful, innovative, production of the 28 year old, theatrical mainstay. Musical Director, Nancy Fueyo produced some lovely harmonies, especially in the Andrew Sisters inspired, "Drive In". The set design by James Cass was exquisite, with an amazing attention to detail. Lighting Design by Frank Stinehour was effective. Costumes by Chris Dietz were "perfectly parochial". James Cass as Stage Manager kept the show moving smoothly.
Jimmy Ferraro is an Award Winning Actor and “Theatre Veteran”. His professional career spans over 40 years in every aspect of show business. Ferraro’s credits as a producer and director of over 100 productions in New York and around the country, and as an author, are an outgrowth of his decades as a professional performer throughout the U.S. and overseas, including Broadway, National Tours, Off-Broadway and regional theatre. He was hand picked by Director/ Choreographer Jerome Robbins, for "Fiddler on the Roof" on Broadway and in the National Tours. He most recently starred as Tevye in the 2012 National Tour of "Fiddler" and won Best Actor in a Musical from BroadwayWorld.com. Ferraro's numerous awards in the performing arts include, Top Ten Professional Achievers in Tampa Bay, Outstanding Young Man of America, Who’s Who in Entertainment, and First Place in the Miami Opera Vocal Competition. His many charitable awards include the prestigious National Philanthropy Day Award, along with performing in benefits for Alzheimer’s Family Organization, American Heart Foundation, A Child’s Wish Come True Foundation, Hospice, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and All Children’s Hospital. Jimmy hosted his own radio show, “Theatre Chat and This ‘n That,” interviewing Major Celebrity Stars from Broadway, Television, and Film.