note: entire contents copyright 2016 by Richard Pacheo
The third show of Community Players 95th season is "Nunsense II, The Second Coming" by Dan Goggins. This show takes place six weeks after the sisters staged their first benefit. The Little Sisters of Hoboken, NJ are back presenting a ''thank-you'' show for all the people who supported them in the past to help bury their dead nuns. But now they're a bit slicker having been "bitten by the theater bug."
Things get off to a rousing start as the five sisters sing "Nunsense, the Magic Word" but before long chaos erupts. Two Franciscans, big Sister Brunhilde and Little Sister Fritz, come to claim Amnesia who won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes as one of their own. At the same time the nuns hear that there is Howie Mandel in the audience to see them strut their stuff. From the grand entrance of the Reverend Mother at the start of the show to the rousing finale, "There's Only One Way to End Your Prayers and That's to Say Amen", this high energy show which is a sequel to "Nunsense", will have you roaring with laughter at these five talented actresses.
This variety show uses "The Mikado" set and includes a high speed recap of the first show given by Hubert and acted out by Robert Anne, Amnesia and Leo. Director/choreographer Bill Whitehead and musical director Ron Procopio cast five talented women in these roles and their acting, singing and dancing will entertain you all night long, winning them a standing ovation at the end of the show.
Bill blocks the show excellently and supplies marvelous dance numbers which include soft shoe, polka, kick-line and can can. There is a roller skating number that has to be seen to be believed. Bill always brings out the best in his performers and this show is no exception. Ron not only taught the music for the show but plays lead keyboard and conducts a four piece orchestra. All the women are terrific in their roles. Commanding the stage is Cathy Fox as the Reverend Mother. As Sister Regina, she feels confident the show will be a success and proclaims so in her show stopping number "Look Ma, I Made It" which ends with her walking around the stage with large parasol. Cathy leads the crowd to more laughter during a drinking scene when she gets drunk on Saki and sings a duet called "Classic Queens" with Hubert. They also sing "What Would Elvis Do?" and Cathy brings the house down with the rousing closing number "The Only Way to End Your Prayers" is to shout Amen when they point at the audience to join in.
Cathy and Karen are also hysterical when they dress up as Geisha Girls at the end of Act 1 with their drunken antics. Karen Kessler shines as the second in command, Sister Hubert. She displays her strong singing voice in "The Biggest Still Ain't the Best", the duet "Classic Queens" and brings down the house in the 1950's number "What Would Elvis Do?" Karen also sing "Clang, Clang went the Trolley" at the end of Act 1. One of Hubert's funniest lines to Regina is "Roll back the rock, Lent is over. Live!" She and Cathy have a lot of chemistry as these two wild and wacky nuns in charge.
Robert Anne, the street wise nun from Brooklyn is excellently played by Maria Day. She is a hoot with her habit humor and displays her fabulous voice in the comic numbers "I've Got Pizazz" and "She is Here to Stay." However it is the poignant number "Angeline" which brings tears the audience while she sings about her friend Annie Green not liking the new habits. Another big scene stealer is Jeanne Evans as Sister Amnesia. She keeps the crowd in stitches as she conducts an ill fated bingo game, dances during "The Padre Polka'' with Hubert and Leo as well as a number with her foul mouth puppet, Sister Mary Annette called "The Country Nun" while wearing red cowboy boots. Jeanne holds the crowd in the palm of her hand during the tear jerking song "No One Cared Like You", the most touching ballad in the show. Donna Gorham is also topnotch as the novice, Sister Leo who wants to be a ballerina nun. However Regina has forbidden her to wear her tutu and toe shoes so Donna sings "The Prima Ballerina" while on roller skates. She, Maria and Jeanne do a splendid can can to "Yes We Can" while the sing along song with the audience is "What a Catastrophe." Donna wins many laughs as this adorable novice nun.
So run do not walk to the box office for this topnotch musical treat, "Nunsense II", where you won't stop laughing all night long while enjoying marvelous entertainment from these five fabulous actresses. Tell them Tony sent you.