The Nuns Next Door

03Aug10

Nunsense at Next Door Theater in Winchester
Greater Boston residents now have another space where they can see professional theater artists ply their trade. Nunsense, the current offering at Next Door Theater in Winchester, MA is a good-natured energetic musical comedy with a clerical bent.

The show has been around. With music, lyrics and book written by Dan Goggin, Nunsense opened Off Broadway in 1985. Over the years, the show has become a popular sensation, with thousands of productions worldwide. The Next Door Theater production is directed by Nancy Curran Willis.

Nunsense centers around five of the 19 surviving members of the Little Sisters of Hoboken. It seems that the convent’s cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally killed the other 52 residents of the convent with her tainted vichyssoise. Mother Superior had a vision to start a greeting card company to raise funds for the burials. The greeting cards were a great success. Thinking there was plenty of money for the burials, Mother Superior went out and bought a VCR for the convent. However, the nuns soon discover that they are short and can’t afford to bury the last four sisters. So they put them in the freezer while they plan a variety show to raise funds for the remaining burials.

Featured in the show are Reverend Mother Superior (played by Shana Dirik), Sister Hubert (Aimee Doherty), Sister Mary Leo (Caylin Campbell), Sister Robert Anne (Meredith Stypinski), Sister Mary Amnesia (Sarajane Mullins) and Brother John (John Henry Burns).

You don’t have to be Catholic to get the jokes, and Catholics won’t be offended by the gentle fun that the play pokes at the Church. The show is a feast of plays on words with a little double entendre thrown in for good measure.

The show features 20 songs and each of the five performers gets a chance to show off her pipes with at least one solo. The cast members also show themselves to be more than capable of handling the show’s dance routines, and there are many.

Next Door Theater’s production of Nunsense offers an opportunity for theater-goers to see live professional quality musical comedy in an intimate space for little more than the price of a movie ticket.

Director Nancy Curran Willis is a freelance director with 25 years of experience directing professional, regional, community and high school theater. In 2008, she won the coveted Eliot Norton Award for outstanding direction for the Boston Theatre Works production of Angels in America, Parts I and II. She also directed Boston Theatre Works’ Eliot Norton Award winning The Laramie Project. Willis’ other professional directing credits include productions at Boston Theatre Marathon, Boston Playwright’s Theatre, Playwright’s Platform, Gloucester Stage Company and Leatherstocking Theatre Company in New York.

NUNSENSE runs August 4, 5 and 6 at Next Door Theater, 40 Cross Street in Winchester. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Purchase tickets online or phone 781-729-NEXT.

The Next Door Theater Company is a nonprofit performance space whose stated mission is to “succeed in building community through the arts with education, participation and presentation.” In addition to live theater, Next Door presents standup comedy, musical concerts, movies and more.

[NUNSENSE. Book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggin. Directed by Nancy Curran Willis. Music Director, John Henry Burns. Choreography, Caylin Campbell. Lighting Design, Erik Fox. Stage Manager, Tim McShea. Scenic Design, Brian Milauskas. Starring Aimee Doherty, Caylin Campbell, Meredith Stypinski, John Henry Burns, Shana Dirik and Sarajane Mullins.]

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