Some more `Nunsense' to crack you up

Preview

Arundel Live

November 04, 2005|By MARY JOHNSON | MARY JOHNSON,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Hoping to build on the success of the off-beat humor of Nunsense, 2nd Star Productions opens the Christmas musical Nuncrackers tonight at Bowie Playhouse in White Marsh Park.

This musical, about the Nunsense crew's unique production of the Nutcracker, is directed by Jeff Hitaffer, with musical direction by Donald K. Smith and choreography by Tiffany Shannon.

Although Nuncrackers is a sequel to Nunsense, Hitaffer said he has worked hard to make it different.

"I've tried to avoid having these characters seem cartoon-like, as sometimes happens with Nunsense productions," Hitaffer said. "In 2nd Star's version, we hope that the sisters come across as unique, appealing human beings.

"We have a terrific cast of seasoned professionals along with some really talented kids like Zachary Fadler, who was Oliver in 2nd Star's last production. Together, they bring freshness and spontaneity to this show that is a nice change from standard holiday offerings."

The cast features Debi Wynn as Sister Amnesia, Kristin Zwobot as Sister Robert Anne, Kevin Buter as Father Virgil, Amber Wright as Sister Hubert, Margaret Fadler as Sister Leo and Carole Long as the Reverend Mother.

Besides Zachary Fadler, the students are played by David Dickey, Anastasia Albinson and Kristin Rogers.

Nuncrackers is set in Mount St. Helen's Convent, where the sisters' first television special is being taped in a studio built by the Reverend Mother with prize money won earlier by Sister Mary Paul, formerly known as Sister Amnesia.

After a brief updating of everyone's past, the action centers on the rehearsal of an original Nutcracker ballet featuring Sister Mary Leo as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Mary Leo suffers an injury, resulting in an alternate plan, with Sister Amnesia holding a "Secret Santa" drawing.

As in past Nunsense productions, the audience is encouraged to sing along to familiar holiday favorites.

Learning that the gifts under the convent Christmas tree may be stolen, the Reverend Mother goes to investigate, leaving Father Virgil to entertain the audience.

All the sisters take turns on stage to sing their own Christmas songs. When Sister Julia doesn't appear on stage, Father Virgil is called upon to substitute for her by making his version of a rum-laced fruitcake.

Reverend Mother and Father Virgil come up with similar plans for salvaging Nutcracker that involve each of them taking a turn as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The fun continues with songs about Christmas shopping problems, creating a living Nativity scene featuring the students and spin-offs of familiar carols. Again the action is interactive, with the audience participating in a carol sing-along.

Nuncrackers continues on weekends through Dec. 3 with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $17 general admission and $14 for seniors and full-time students.

For additional information, visit the Web site at www.2ndstarproductions.com. Call 410-757-5700 or 301-858-7245 for reservations.

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