Rivercity Players revive the hilarious Nunsense

Rivercity Players is opening their 2016/17 season with the musical Nunsense

Rivercity Players is opening its 2016/17 season with the musical Nunsense.

This hilarious comedy tells the story of the Little Sisters of Hoboken.  Tragedy has befallen the sisters, as their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally killed 52 members of the convent with her tainted vichyssoise.

Nineteen sisters have survived, as they were away playing bingo, and they have been tasked with raising money for the burials.

They have been mostly successful through a card making business, but still have four sisters to bury, and so have decided to hold a variety show to raise the remaining funds. The cast consists of five Nuns:  Sister Mary Regina (Doris Wagner), Sister Mary Hubert (Beth Miller), Sister Robert Anne (Judith McFarlane), Sister Mary Amnesia (Lori Gooldrup), and Sister Mary Leo (Kristine Isfeld).

Long time Rivercity Players supporters may remember a previous production of Nunsense in 1993. Heather Gordon Murphy is the Director/Choreographer for the production.

“I am really enjoying how the production is coming together,” she said, “the performers, the backstage crew – everyone is working well together.  It’s very efficient.”

Murphy has a personal tie to the play – not only has her sister, Christina Gordon, performed professionally in several productions of Nunsense, together they have performed parts of Nunsense in musical reviews.

“Audiences can expect a very funny, endearing show with five remarkable, amazing actresses,” said Murphy.

Music and vocal direction is being provided by Kristy Miller.

“This play has fantastic music,” said Miller, “a great mix of different styles – country to jazz to southern gospel”.

She is enjoying working with the actors, who she feels are working extremely well together, and the musicians – Jana Jurek (piano), Ken Enns (bass) and Will Wood (percussion).

She feels audiences will enjoy not only the comedy and variety of music, but also the interactive, participation element to the show.

The original production of Nunsense opened Off-Broadway in 1985, and ran for 10 years, becoming the second longest running Off-Broadway show in history (the first being The Fantisticks).

It won four Outer Critics Circle Awards including Best Off-Broadway Musical in its original New York production, and received reviews such as “A hail of fun and frolic! Wacky and outrageous with a hysterical anything goes sense of fun!” from the New York Times.

By the time it closed, it had become an international phenomenon translated into at least 26 languages with more than 8,000 productions worldwide.

It has prompted six sequels – everything from Sister Amnesia’s Country Western Nunsense Jamboree to Meshuggah-Nuns.

There was even a male cast version – Nunsense A Men!

Nunsense runs at the Rivercity Stage November 16 to 19, and 23 to 26, starting at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on November 20 and 27, starting at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available at Rivercity Stage Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at Impressions Custom Framing, CR Laundromat, Tidemark Theatre (tickets.tidemarktheatre.com).

The Rivercity Players season will continue with a Christmas pantomime, Cinderella, in December.

The spring production will be Jenny’s House of Joy, a comedy set in a house of ill repute in the old Wild West.

“Yes, it’s quite the season,” laughs club President Phil Atkinson, “we are starting off with nuns, moving on to a fairy tale, and then finishing with floozies.”