PLEASANT GROVE — Bigger isn’t always better as the Pleasant Grove Players proved with their performance of Nunsense. Though part of a community theater, the show earned its place among the stars.
Tragedy strikes the Hoboken convent when the cook, Sister Julia, child of God, accidentally poisons fifty-two of the sisters with her soup. The other sisters (who narrowly escaped by the grace of BINGO) are left to find ways to finance the burials.
They raise enough funds to bury forty-eight of the dead sisters, but they didn’t have enough to bury the last four (as Mother Superior had used the funds to buy an entertainment system). So, they decide to put the dead sisters in the freezer while they stage a variety show to earn the burial funds.
They sing, dance and joke their way through the somewhat impromptu performance, making light of such serious topics as death, leprosy and drugs in an almost sacrilegious manner that is so thoroughly entertaining.
While not as well known, the songs are just as catchy. “Nunsense is habit-forming,” the sisters warn as the play begins. I couldn’t agree more. I found myself riveted and completely drawn into the story.
The small theater in the Pleasant Grove Library was a perfect setting for the play, creating an intimate environment with the cast. Only a few rows deep, the cast could easily be heard without microphones and often came down to interact with the audience.
I was impressed by the Little Sisters of Hoboken. Each had their moment in the spotlight and sparkled on the stage.
Mother Superior (Luone Ingram) wowed the audience with her Irish lilt and tightrope act. Sister Mary Robert Anne (Jen Handy) was a true performer, once she was given the chance. Sister Mary Amnesia (Amber Kaye Smith) gave an endearing performance with her shy smile, hearty laugh and powerful voice. Sister Mary Leo (Kristen Rae Bradley) played the part of the youngest sister well, with a look of naivety and a spring in her step.
While Sister Mary Hubert (Janet Greengage) seemed a little unsure of herself and would have benefited from a microphone, she was there to back up Mother Superior every step of the way.
The worst part about the play was trying to find it. Unfamiliar with the area I had searched for the theater on Mapquest, but I soon found myself lost. After driving in circles I finally found the library and slid into my seat as the show began. Luckily I didn’t miss a thing.
Under the direction of Howard and Kathryn Little, Nunsense delivers lots of laughs and adds whole new dimension to nuns as well as a whole new meaning to the CTR ring—Catholics Totally Rule!
Nunsense plays March 5-22, Friday, Saturday and Monday Evenings at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Saturday March 20 at 3 p.m. Performances are held at the Keith Christenson Little Theater in the Pleasant Grove Library on 30 East Center St. in Pleasant Grove. For more information call 801-922-4524 or visit PGPlayers.com.