Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical – The Broadway Theatre

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The Nuns are at it again. In 1985 playwright Dan Groggin’s highly successful Nunsense opened of Broadway. There have been over 5,000 productions worldwide, translated into 21 languages. The playwright, taking advantage of the immense popularity, has written five sequels; Nunsense 2: The Second Coming, Sister Amnesia’s Country Western Nunsense Jamboree, Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical, Meshuggah-Nuns! and Nunsensations: The Nunsense Vegas Revue.

Premiere Productions is staging Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical this holiday. In this permutation Father Virgil (Justin Jorgensen) and a cadre of nuns led by the Reverend Mother (Eliane Weidauer) are aided by three kids; Maria (Shannon Johnston), Billy (Alex Gonzales), and Louisa (Bridget Estelle).

These nuns are a bit more raucous than the originals. Sister Mary Hubert (Tammy Carr-Kron) attempts to maintain a bit of decorum. Sister Robert Anne (Deborah Wenck) brings some class to the group.

Any attempt to maintain the proper religiosity is totally destroyed once Sister Amnesia (Miranda Porter) enters. She is young, inexperienced in the ways of the church, and a total scatterbrain. The actress, whom we’ve seen in serious roles, takes Sister Amnesia onto new heights of innocent sacrilege. Her interactions with the audience showcase her ad lib ability. The other sisters are a bit blasphemous at times. In fact, saints preserve us; I do believe I heard a wee bit of cussing. The nuns refer to a nutcracker as a “ball breaker” and there are “Bible Balls” and “Candy Cane and Abel.” Blame Groggin, not me. I just quoted them. The audience was quite amused.

Playwright Groggin tantalizes the audience with plenty of word play, providing the cast with a script saturated with double entendres. Direct Larry D. Jorgenson interpreted the script broadly making note that the audience didn’t miss most of the good lines. In song and dance, the nuns informed us that “Jesus was Born in Brooklyn,” “Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House,” in that “It’s Better to Give.” The kids presented us with a charming “Santa’s Little Teapot” aided by the good father. Music Director Steve Storc provided the orchestrations for the production.

Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical is amusing. The production works well on Broadway’s stage.

Cast

Tammy Carr-Kron, Justin Jorgensen, Eliane Weidauer, Miranda Porter, Deborah Wenck, Shannon Johnston, Alex Gonzales, Bridget Estelle

Technical Staff

Producers Randall Hickman & Douglas Davis, Choreographer Anna Valendez, Musical Director/Orchestrations Steve Storc, Sed Design Douglas Davis, Costume Coordination Dottie Pechek & Randall Hickman, Prop Mistress Elise Meehan, Set Decoration Randall Hickman, Vocal Coach Eliane Weidauer

Total Rating: Two Stars

Genre: Musical Comedy

Author: Dan Groggin

Director: Larry Jorgenson

Date Reviewed: November 24, 2007

Dates: Thursday to Sunday, thru December 22, 2007

Running Time: 113 minutes with a 15-minute intermission

Broadway Theatre

340 East Broadway

Vista, CA 92084

Box Office Phone: 760 806-7905

Robert Hitchcox is a playwright, critic and fiction author, who reviews live theatre.