BWW Review: Singing and Dancing Nuns in CenterPoint Legacy's NUNSENSE A MUSICAL COMEDY
Whatever it is you're expecting from NUNSENSE A MUSICAL COMEDY, (Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dan Goggin), I have a feeling you'll be in for a surprise. It's energetic and interactive before you even step into the theatre. The nuns are ever in character and you feel like you're really attending their rather bizarre fundraising event.
This show will appeal to all audiences, though the Catholic crowd may be privy to a few more of the jokes than most.
Catholic or not, everyone will laugh along about Chef Julia, Child of God, who unintentionally poisoned most of the convent with a bad soup, and the hilarious Little Sisters of Hoboken Convent who were left behind and must raise money to bury their fallen sisters.
All five women who star in this show are an absolute delight. Perhaps because they are all veteran actors of CenterPoint Theatre, it was clear that they felt at home there.
Meredith Gibson as Sister Mary Regina, the nun in charge, was charming and hysterical, battling a desire to be in charge, exasperation of wrangling the others, and personal desire to be the star of their fundraising performance. Gibson especially shined when her character discovered something in a student's locker that accidentally left her more than a little bit, how do you say, "high on life?"
Rebecca Hess played Sister Mary Hubert, or the "number two" in command. She was lovable and endearing, exactly the kind of nun you'd hope to find leading a Catholic school in New Jersey. Hess kept all the other nuns in order, and did it while delivering beautiful vocals and energetic dance numbers.
When it comes to dancing, the company did a fantastic job utilizing the entire set and keeping the energy high! Kudos to choreographer Sunny Simkins on these uplifting numbers. One nun in particular, though, Sister Mary Leo, played by Stephanie Bruckman, was truly a "dancing nun." Her dreams of being a famous ballerina nun are always on her mind and lead to some gorgeous ballet numbers throughout the show.
It turns out she's not the only one with dreams, though. Sister Robert Anne, played by Megan Smyth, is determined to perform at the fundraiser, despite Sister Regina's attempts to keep her from doing so. Sister Anne might even be responsible for Sister Regina's previously mentioned musical high. The only thing better than Smyth's New Jersey accent was her singing number, which was both impressive and funny, much like the entire show. She "only wanted to sparkle," and sparkle she did!
Finally, you can't think I'd forget Sister Mary Amnesia, played by Samantha Wursten. This sister was perhaps the most lovable of all, considering her sweet demeanor and unfortunate memory loss. She was particularly good in her solo duet with Sister Mary Annette (her singing puppet), where she was really able to show off her stellar vocals. Wursten was exceptional in this role, causing the crowd to erupt in applause when she finally recovered her memory.
Both acts of the show are full of "singing and dancing," as the program states, but it really is so much more than that. These women bring laugh after laugh, energetic choreography, fabulous acting, great harmonies and a lot of fun to the Leishman Performance Hall.
If you're in need of a good laugh and quality entertainment, I highly recommend seeing NUNSENSE at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre.
But those of you in the front row, be warned, you might just end up in the show!
The show is running now through July 6. For a complete list of show times and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.centerpointtheatre.org/tickets/ or call 801-298-1302.
Photo Credit: L-R Samantha Wursten, Megan Smyth, Meredith Gibson, Stephanie Bruckman and Rebecca Hess