What do you get when you take five women who can all sing, dance and act, and dress them up in nuns’ habits? Sounds like the beginning of a joke. And, in fact, it is. Except, instead of these nuns walking into a bar, they are walking into a theater. StageDoor Theatre in Conifer, to be exact. And the joke is on us, because this is precisely the comedic combination that will leave audiences rolling in the aisle when “Nunsense” opens on Sept. 26.
“We picked ‘Nunsense’ because we simply wanted to do a hilarious show,” says Fran Arniotes, StageDoor founder and co-director of the show. “Our adult company doesn’t do many musicals, and there is some amazing talent up here that we wanted to be able to show off.”
For those who aren’t familiar with “Nunsense,” the show begins with the only surviving Little Sisters of Hoboken. These five discover that the rest of their order suffered a quick death at the hands of Sister Julia and her accidentally tainted potato soup while playing bingo.
With no money to pay for the burials of their sisters, the nuns stage a variety show to raise funds. The five nuns who participate in the madcap cabaret show are far from the subdued stereotypes with which nuns have been labeled.
The show’s writer, Dan Goggin, based the nuns on people he knew from his parochial school days. We end up with a motley group, complete with Mother Superior, a former circus performer, and her rival, Sister Mary Hubert. Sister Mary Leo is an aspiring ballerina; Sister Robert Anne is a tough nun from the streets of Brooklyn, and Sister Mary Amnesia lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head.
The success of “Nunsense” depends on the ability of the cast to bring these three-dimensional nuns to life. The cast is packed with women from the Denver area who have years of experience on stage. The nuns with the heavenly voices are played by Julie Ballard, BJ Gerhard, Emily Nelson Musser, Cindy Walker and Amy Bergevin.
“These women are all triple threats. They can sing, dance and act,” says director Bill Loper. “They have so much energy, and working with them has been a tremendous experience.”
Loper not only appreciates the show for the talent that it brings out in his cast, but also for the musical skill with which it was written.
“I love that Goggin spoofed all of the musicals that are in the Broadway canon. You can hear parts of ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ ‘42nd Street’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ just to name a few. The show is just full of surprises, and we’re excited for our audiences to take part.”
Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.
Presented by StageDoor Theatre, 25797 Conifer Road (in the Aspen Park Village shopping center)
Sept. 26, 27 and Oct. 2, 3, 9, 10. All shows at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $14 adults; $12 senior (60-plus); $12 student. Tickets may be reserved at www.stagedoortheatre.org.
Call 303-886-2819 for more details.