Numbers to relish 

Theater Review | Thru Aug. 17

Sometimes, it can be frustrating to see the tried and true musicals, knowing there’s so much out there that deserves a showing. At the same time, however, when something that’s loved by the masses is done well, it can provide as much entertainment as the first time you saw it. Such is Beef & Boards’ staging of Nunsense.
-Front: (left to right) Carolyn Droscoski, Amanda Butterbaugh, Deb Wims and (back): Donna M. Ryan and Cynthia Thomas in ‘Nunsense’-

The key to this success is a dynamite cast. Each one takes on her role with abandon and goes beyond just embracing the humor — they revel in it. The show is full of bad puns and jokes, but delivered in the kind of knowing way that keeps it fun.

The story, just in case you are a novice, is about the Little Sisters of Hoboken. Their chef, Julia, Child of God (insert sign of the cross here), has inadvertently fed most of the convent some deadly vichyssoise. The remaining dozen-plus nuns, saved by a Bingo trip, are short the money to bury the last four nuns because Mother Superior bought a swanky VCR instead. Now, the remaining dead nuns are in the freezer, and so the nuns decide to put on a fund-raiser variety show. Each woman gets a number to relish.

Amanda Butterbaugh is darling as Sister Amnesia. Her innocence combined with her blank unawareness makes her deadpan lines a hoot. Plus, she hits some notes that could break glass in “So You Want to Be a Nun.” Carolyn Droscoski as street-smart Sister Robert Anne was my personal favorite. She is a riot, whether dancing adorned by fruit, mocking The Wizard of Oz or doing tricks with her habit. Donna M. Ryan, as Mother Superior, really lets it all out when she accidentally gets high off a student’s abandoned bottle of Rush (as in the drug). Deb Wims gets some dance moves in, the best being in “The Dying Nun Ballet,” complete with Flying Nun attire. Cynthia Thomas as Sister Mary Hubert keeps up slightly disgruntled one-liners (especially with a name like Hubert) and really shines in “Holier Than Thou.”

A little irreverent, a little updated for the times and still a good show for some belly laughs. Nunsense, directed by Nancy E. Carroll, continues through Aug. 17; call 872-9664.

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