BWW Reviews: Praising Fun with NUNSENSE at The Garden Theater
Who knew nuns could be so fun? When the five nuns from the Little Sisters of Hoboken put on a showcase to raise money, hilarity ensues. NUNSENSE pokes fun with Catholic Church jokes and crowd-rocking song and dance numbers.
The nuns need to raise money after a tragic soup accident kills a number of other nuns in the Convent. They need the money to bury the remaining four sisters, who currently reside in the freezer. Something about buying a Blu-Ray player also may have something to do with needing the money. The five surviving sisters include: Mother Superior, Sister Mary Regina (Janine Papin) who is a questionable leader; Sister Mary Hubert (Desiree Perez), the second in charge; Sister Mary Amnesia (Erin Farrell), the confused; Sister Mary Robert Anne (Jennifer Roman), the drama queen nun from the street; and Sister Mary Leo (Lyndsey Wilkerson), the sweet novice. Each of the women have a wide range of personalities, for example Sister Leo wants to be the first ballerina nun, while Sister Amnesia has no idea who she is because a crucifix fell on her.
Each of the nuns finds their special place in the showcase even though there are some ego issues. Notable performance goes to Sister Mary Regina who "accidentally" sniffs some drugs and does a convincing "getting high" routine that had the audience rolling. The antics and innuendos from Sister Amnesia also had the audience laughing too hard to continue. This is not a stuffy play in the least. At times the nuns are running through the aisle telling jokes and giving high fives. There's even a quiz, which seemed out of place, but at the same time makes sense because the audience is essentially a part of the show.
Although NUNSENSE was originally performed in 1985, its humor is still relevant and nostalgically funny. The audience leaves with a whole new cache of church and nun jokes to try out. If you've always wanted to see nuns in a kickline, then this production is not to be missed. These ladies are all triple threats singing, acting, and dancing their hearts out. All the ladies have fabulous voices and a remarkable ability to harmonize. There is even a sparkly tap shoe routine.
Two thumbs up for this production choosing to go with a live orchestra. Many community theaters, especially in Florida, struggle with space and funding, but a live pit is well worth the cost. It was so refreshing hearing the ladies perform alongside talents musicians and made for an overall better experience. There's nothing like the feeling of live music that responds to what happens on stage.
Be sure to make it early or on-time to catch the comedic pre-show which is filled with audience interaction. NUNSENSE runs at The Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, Florida until October 6, 2013. For ticket and more information, visit www.gardentheatre.org.
Photo Credit: The Winter Garden Theatre