Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
Sister Leo (Jennifer Harty) does “The Dying Nun Ballet” as Emily Vawter and Rebecca Stryker look on during a performance of “Nunsense”. The nuns chase Reverend Mother (Kathleen Morrow), who has gone into “Carmen Miranda mode”.
As of Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Unique and unusual props and set pieces are all part of the fun with the musical comedy “Nunsense,” continuing its run this weekend at Columbia Center for the Arts. This is a Plays for Non-Profits production, with proceeds going to Providence Hospital Foundation and Music Therapy Program.
Snoopy’s doghouse and Lucy’s psychiatry booth flank the stage in this story about a desperation “let’s put on a show” effort by a group of hapless nuns. One of the sisters sings a song and does dialogue with a ventriloquist dummy created for the show by April Sampson of White Salmon, an artist as well as an actor, most recently seen in “Chicago: the Musical.”
The “Peanuts” set pieces are there, conveniently, because the show “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will be next at CCA, and in the story of “Nunsense,” the sisters’ must borrow a middle school stage that’s set up for another production. Director Ashly Will said the script is flexible about what other play figures in each production, so the Charles Schulz touches are the happy accompaniments to “Nunsense” and some of them, including Charlie Brown’s football, are worked into the show. Will directs and choreographs the production, with musical direction by William Thayer-Daugherty. The show was produced by Lynda Dallman and written by Dan Goggin.
TICKETS AND TIMES
Nov. 9-10 and 16-17 at 7 p.m., and Nov. 11 at 1:30 p.m., Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Ave.
Admission is $20 adults, $15 students and seniors. Tickets at Waucoma Bookstore or at showtix4u.com.
“Nunsense” stars Jennifer Harty as Sister Leo, Kathleen Morrow as Reverend Mother, Rebecca Stryker as Sister Mary Amnesia, Emily Vawter as Sister Hubert and Cynthia Yoshida as Sister Robert Ann.
This is a show that showcases music, dancing, and even ventriloquism. Will describes it as, “a fun peek into the lives of nuns, although these ones may be a little sillier than we are used to.”
As Wikipedia describes the musical:
“Five of the 19 surviving Little Sisters of Hoboken, a one-time missionary order that ran a leper colony on an island south of France, discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally killed the other fifty-two residents of the convent with her tainted vichyssoise while they were off playing bingo with a group of Maryknolls. Upon discovering the disaster, Mother Superior had a vision in which she was told to start a greeting card company to raise funds for the burials. The greeting cards were an enormous success and, thinking there was plenty of money, the Reverend Mother bought a VCR and camcorder for the convent, leaving her with no money in the kitty to pay for the last four burials. With the deceased nuns on ice in the deep freeze, they decide to stage a variety show in the Mount Saint Helen’s School auditorium to raise the necessary amount.”