‘Nunsensations’: Glitzy, shticky, funny


Sister Mary Leo played by Monica Kerbo sings about how her passion for dance and a certain man led her to the convent. Her feelings were expressed in the song “I Left Him There.” 

I’m still not sure what shtick is, but it’s funny. This weekend I had the pleasure of viewing “Nunsensations,” a musical put on by Frank Challis.
“Nunsensations” is the sixth and so far final edition of the “Nunsense” saga. In this musical, written by Dan Goggin, the sisters find themselves in Nevada, at the heart of Sin City, where they are payed a large sum of $10,000 by a parishioner to perform in a club. Sold on the idea of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, the Reverend Mother and her posse agree to don Vegas standard feathers, sequins and brassieres (over their habits of course) and wow the Vegas crowds in the Pump Room at the Mystique Motor Lodge.
The sisters begin the show by breaking out with song and dance, lead by the Reverend Mother (played by Vocal Music Instructor Lori Geis). The nun troupe partakes in many humorous activites, my favorite being the scenes when two or three of the nuns would come out holding signs that said “Shtick” and “More Shtick.” When they did this, they would tell cheesy but naughty-funny church jokes. My favorite being one about a promiscuous parrot that answers the prayers of the popes parrots, an instant classic that I will probably share with my friends for years to come.
The musical for the most part was really good. It was cheesy in a few places, but all-in-all it was entertaining with quite a few funny moments. The actors were very talented and even though I didn’t go both nights, I don’t think they missed a line. If they did, they covered it up expertly.
The actors all played unique dynamic characters. There wasn’t a single stereotypical nun, and they all had hilarious background stories. Reverend Mother is the only one of the bunch that is even remotely true to her nun beliefs, and she is a little apprehensive about appearing in “Sin City.”
Other humorous performers include Sister Robert Anne, who does a knee-slapping funny bit about how the nuns needed to show more “T”. and “A.,” and Sister Mary Amnesia, who totes around a goofy doll named Sister Mary Annette (like, marionette, get it?). This doll of hers runs away and trys out for Avenue Q and gets the part by lying to the directors about her past experience. The doll comes back and explains to Sister Mary where she’s been and this conversation is in my opinion one of the funniest parts of the show. However, I was frustrated when possibly the best line of the show, “she’s away at a national bingo competition,” was completely lost to the audience. Nobody laughed, nobody got it. I thought it was one of the the funniest things I’d ever heard. You can’t compete in bingo, it’s all about luck. Fortunately, the rest of the funnies weren’t lost, and the show was well-received by the audience, a large audience at that.
The musical was interactive with the audience, and whether or not the original show did this or if it was thrown in for kicks, it was brilliant. The reactions and responses of the audience members called to the stage were hysterical.
This was director Frank Challis’ final show at the college, and it was a very well done. I think many students are going to miss seeing Challis walk to the beat of his own drum.
If you went to the show, you should congratulate the actors whenever you get the chance, because they did a swell job, and if you didn’t go, then you truly missed out.