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Button Theatre1
Average Rating Given : 4.50000
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REVIEWS

Nunsense, by Dan Goggins
Holier Than Thou, and Funnier Than Most
Monday, April 27, 2009
4.5
Simply put: This is one of the most entertaining shows I have seen at a community theatre in quite a while.

All 5 women did a wonderful job! The comic timing was dead-on, the singing was fantastic, and the chemistry between all of the sisters was very believable. In fact, I thought they all did a great job of being these wacky, high-energy performers but yet staying within the realm of believability as actual nuns. (Special kudos to those ladies who affected an accent and kept it consistent throughout the production!)

I must admit, I have worked on shows with Amanda Pickard Hardie before, so I knew her characterization of Sister Amnesia would be hilarious and very endearing. However, I had no idea how talented a singer she truly is! Her soprano was amazing, especially considering that one song had her switching back and forth between a highly operatic style and a gravely, Ethel Merman-type style. She rocked the house with her high notes, and the audience was eating it up.

Traci Davison, as the Reverand Mother, proved that she knows how to work a crowd. Any time that she was alone on stage, she had the audience's undivided atttention. She also brought the right amount of sterness to her character without feeling overbearing to the other sisters. And her physical comedy at the end of Act 1 was, for me, the real showstopper! It was the perfect example of how a simple comedic gag can last for several minutes without getting old.

Both Maura and Jennifer (Sisters Robert Anne and Hubert) brought the right amount of sass to their characters, and, man, can they belt! They got to provide the best one-liners in the show and did so with great flair and timing. I feel that these are the two characters that are hardest to find that balance of believability that they are nuns and not just actresses pretending to be nuns, and these two ladies definitly found it.

Lastly, and certainly not least, is Erin Bushko as Sister Mary Leo, the youngest and newest member of the convent. I thought she did a fine job in portraying the naive and soft-spoken sister of the group, which served as a nice contrast since her songs are much more gentle and subdued than most of the 'showier' songs. She was also very good with staying in character as she wandered through the audience ad-libbing with us prior to the show.

In addition to the performances, I would like to commend the Music Director for including a percussionist! Some shows work using only a piano, but when you have a mostly upbeat show, like this one, then drums really help take it to the next level...especially when they do not overpower the piano or singers! Well done, percussionist! (It also helps keep the audience in check when they can't collectively decide to clap on or off the beat.) ;-)

The only negatives I could pick out were the wireless mics and the pacing of Act 2. All of the sisters were using wireless mics (the kind that run through the actor's hair and sticks to their forehead). It wasn't their visibility that annoyed me, though, it was frequent amount of popping coming through the speakers from the wireless mics. I'm not sure what all goes into setting up the sound for a show, but that popping sound is distracting enough to take you out of the show, at times.

The performers had kept a great pace for the first act, which really kept the show flowing without noticable transitions from one song to another. In the second act, however, there were some odd transitions that hindered the pacing. I'm not sure if it is a problem with the script or if someone might have forgotten a cue, but it was noticable. Not as distracing as the mics, but still noticable.

Despite my few grumblings, however, it was still a heckuva show. It's been a while since a show made me laugh so hard it brought tears to my eyes, but the gang at Button Theatre did just that. Thank you, ladies, for a wonderful evening!

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