‘Nunsense’ returns to tickle funny bones
If you can imagine a story that is based on a true story of nuns getting into a financial bind and having to get money quick by putting on a hilarious talent show, then you’ve got some idea of the theme of “Nunsense.” But it’s so much more than that. In fact, the reality of the situation is actually bizarre: Some of the nuns actually die from botulism, and the convent doesn’t have the money to bury them all promptly.
After listening to Director John Driscoll explain the twists and turns in this stranger-than-fiction comedy, it’s no surprise that this play is the winner of four “outer critics’ circle” awards, including Best Off-Broadway Musical, and is one of Off Broadstreet’s most requested repeat shows.
Written entirely – script, music, libretto – by Dan Goggin, who actually knew such nuns (the Little Sisters of Hoboken), the play features a cast of five: Kris Daniels-Stepanian – returning in her Ellie-winning role as the lovable dingbat, Sister Mary Amnesia – and Off Broadstreet regulars Nancy Keith, Sue LeGate, Janis Jablecki, and newcomer Nicole Riendeau.
According to Driscoll, who is also co-owner of the theater with his wife, Nevada City native Jan Kopp, “The characters are delightful. There’s the usual friction between the No. 1 and the No. 2 in charge. There’s the wide-eyed novice who has visions. There’s even the first nun ballerina. Catholics love it because of the inside humor, and non-Catholics love nuns dancing in a chorus line.”
Off Broadstreet produces only comedies, many of which are musicals that have familiar hit songs of the 1950s and 1960s that the audiences recognize and can sing along with, and many that Driscoll himself writes. “Fun is the key word here,” says Driscoll, although he’s quick to add that most comedy comes from tragedy. “It’s our way of processing things. You know, like, ‘I’ll probably laugh about this in a few years.’ But this is not the place to come for deep messages.”
Great desserts (Can you handle the house specialty – luscious Maui Pie, a Friar Tuck recipe?) and beverages are sold and served before the show and at intermission in an intimate cabaret setting that seats 90.
The play, which is suitable for all ages, runs through April 16 (which also just happens to be Driscoll’s birthday.)
Off Broadstreet plays year-round, usually producing five shows that last eight-10 weeks each. Future productions include “DE-RAIL-ED,” a musical comedy by John Driscoll, April 29 through June 25; “The Great Northwest Mining & Dance Company,” a new musical comedy by John Driscoll, July 8 through Aug. 27; and “Angry Housewives” by A. Collins, Sept. 9 through Oct. 15.
KNOW & GO
WHAT: “Nunsense,” an award-winning comedy
WHEN: March 11 through April 16, every Friday and Saturday, 8:15 p.m. (exception is Easter weekend, March 25 and 26, when no performances will be held). One Thursday performance, March 31, at 7:15 p.m.; one Sunday matinee, April 10, at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Off Broadstreet, an intimate cabaret dessert theater, at 305 Commercial St., Nevada City
ADMISSION: $18 on Thursdays and Sundays, $20 on Fridays and $22 on Saturdays. No group, child, or senior discounts.
INFORMATION: Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Call 265-8686 or go online at http://www.offbroadstreet.com/.
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