orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

May 15, 2013

‘Nunsense’ provides big laughs in season finale production

Jeanette Boehme
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Come on down to the playhouse of the Orange Community Players for a fun night with the five nuns from the convent of the Little Sisters of Hoboken! Be sure and bring your sense of humor along with you for this uproariously funny, lively, and witty show.

This version of “Nunsense” is the same script as the original “Nunsense”, except all of the nuns are played by men. The parts are played straight - like it is a perfectly natural thing for men to portray nuns. The plot is well-known by now. Sister Julia Child of God accidentally poisons and kills 52 members of the convent. There are five nuns surviving and they have to get the deceased buried.

Four dead nuns don’t make it to the cemetery because the Mother Superior spent the last of the convent’s money on a Blu-Ray player for the nuns. The nuns hatch a plan whereby the surviving five nuns stash the four unburied nuns in the freezer and put on a fundraiser Talent Show to raise the funds to bury these fallen sisters. What a show it is!

You know you are in for a treat when the five nuns come in through the audience to start the show, telling jokes and getting everyone hyped up. As the show progresses there are perfectly delivered jokes about saints, well performed kick-lines, and Catholic recipes. Mary Magdalene Tart anyone?

The cast is fantastic and each fits perfectly into their role.  Kevin Doss plays Mother Superior Mary Regina to the hilt. Doss steals the show by accidentally inhaling some medication he finds labeled “RUSH”. “RUSH” is actually a street name of an inhalant that addicts use to get high.  Sister Mary Regina thinks it just meant to rush the medication to its destination. As he gets under the influence of these vapors Doss gets to perform his famous “drunk” act that he does so well. The audience is howling with laughter as the other nuns try to get him on his feet.  Bravo Kevin Doss!

The singing is outstanding. How else could it be with Doug Rogers playing Sister Mary Hubert? Rogers lights up every stage he graces with his God-given, beautiful baritone voice. He also brings his character, sort of a second fiddle to the Mother Superior, to life so well. Kudos to Doug Rogers!

Justine Sanders portrays Sister Robert Anne, a tough, street smart, Brooklyn prankster. His re-enacting of the poisoning and death of their dearly departed sisters, and tying his headpiece into a witch’s hat while repeating lines from “The Wizard of Oz” makes him a star. His amazing voice singing, “I Just Want to be a Star”, is a scene stealer.

Sister Mary Leo is played by Jonathan McCollum. Sister Mary Leo has aspirations to be a ballet dancer and he flits about on the stage at every opportunity. His rendition of “The Dying Nun Ballet” is hilarious and well played. “Swan Lake” may never be the same. Congratulations to McCollum!

Sister Mary Paul, A.K.A. Amnesia, is portrayed by Paul Burch. He does a great job realistically playing Amnesia, the nun who appears to know nothing about his past nor who he really is. He saves the day when he finally remembers that he won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes and the convent is now rich. Good Job, Burch!

Diana Hill, director, has another hit on her capable hands. The show is family friendly as most jokes are not too risqué. Come join the fun on one of the remaining show, which are scheduled for 7:37 p.m., Thursday, May 16 through Saturday, May 18, and a matinee performance at 2:37 p.m., Sunday, May 19. Tickets are $8 for students and $15 for adults.  Call 409-882-9137 for reservations.

It needs to be said that this season of OCP has been dedicated to Jeff Hattman, one of the founding members of OCP. Hattman hand-picked the cast for this production before her passing and OCP is honored to put it on in her memory. The Hattman Family has announced the establishment of The Hattman Family Theater Scholarship to honor her life as an educator and her love of theater. This scholarship will help budding actors and directors who find their way onto the OCP stage, fund their dreams.