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Toby’s Dinner Theatre Nunsense

By • Aug 20th, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Nunsense, by Dan Goggin
Toby’s Dinner Theatre
Toby’s Dinner Theatre-Columbia, Columbia, MD
Through September 19th (Selected dates after the 19th)
2:00, with one intermission
$46-$51/$33-$51 Children
Reviewed August 15th, 2010

The Order of the Little Sisters of Scaggsville have a hit on their hands, and so does Toby’s. This laugh-out-loud spree begins as we are treated to a brief but hilarious explanation of the reason for the show.

Unfortunately, Sister Julia, Child of God’s tainted vichyssoise has accidentally killed 52 members of the convent. Sadly, they had just enough money to bury 48 of the sisters. They need just a bit more to cover the rem… pay for the other four burials, and fast!

We are told that this fundraiser is being held at Toby’s during the “changeover” between shows and we are thus treated to a preview of Toby’s upcoming musical “Rent” (which leads to one of many running gags and sets the tone in this show full of humor and fun). Who knew you could have so much color in a show where all the costumes are black and white!

We meet Sister Mary Hubert (Jesaira Glover), Mistress of Novices and sweet “soul sista” of the group, hilariously streetwise Brooklyn-born Sister Robert Anne (Heather Beck), the wonderfully daffy Sister Mary Amnesia (Jessica Ball), Novice Sister Mary Leo (MaryLee Adams), who aspires to be the first ballerina nun, and the Reverend Mother, Sister Mary Regina (Jane C. Boyle), a former tightrope star and leader of this three-ring circus. Each of these supremely talented women have their time in the spotlight, with terrific choreography and direction by Mark Minnick.

Expect audience participation, be prepared to answer quizzes and don’t look for a lot of insight or heavy messages. No need to bone up on your catechisms. From the pre-show organ music to the last note, this show’s a cotton candy treat.

And just a hint: I always read the bios in theatre programs out of habit. Ahem. Be sure to get out your reading glasses and read yours. It’s worth the time!

Program Notes

Nunsense…is a madcap revue that satirizes convent life with a hysterical anything-goes sense of fun. The show’s very premise is outrageous.

A bit of background information:

The Order of the Little Sisters of Scaggsville was founded in the seventh century by Saint Wilfred, a bishop of England. He established the first convent and school known as the Wilfred Academy. His motto was “We don’t teach beauty – we radiate it!” Many years later a small group of pioneering sisters set out for America to establish a motherhouse in Cleveland. But they got off the plane at BWI by mistake. The order was “found” by BWI Airport Security and the new motherhouse was established up the road in Scaggsville, Maryland. It was at that time that the Order of St. Wilfred elected to change the name to the Little Sisters of Scaggsville. It was from this convent that Sister Mary Regina, Sister Mary Hubert and Sister Robert Anne set sail for the Mediterranean to establish their leper colony. Today the order has both nuns and brothers as members – all doing various good works in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland. They also operate Mount Saint Helen’s School in Scaggsville.

The Cast

  • Sister Mary Regina (Reverend Mother): Jane C. Boyle
  • Sister Mary Hubert: Jesaira Glover
  • Sister Robert Anne: Heather Beck
  • Sister Mary Amnesia: Jessica Ball
  • Sister Mary Leo: MaryLee Adams
  • Understudies:
    • Sr. Robert Anne, Sr. Amnesia, Sr. Hubert: Celia Blitzer
    • Sr. Leo: Maria Rizzo
    • Rev. Mother: Susan Thornton

Orchestra

  • Conductor / Keyboard: Ross Scott Rawlings, Cedric Lyles
  • Keyboard 2: Reenie Codelka, Ed Myers,Ann Prizzi
  • Reeds / Woodwinds: Steven Haaser, Katie Kellert, Charles McDaniel
  • Percussion: Anders Eliasson, Thomas Harold, Aaron Holmes

Production Staff

  • Director/Choreographer: Mark Minnick
  • Musical Director: Ross Scott Rawlings
  • Set Designer: David A. Hopkins
  • Costume Designer: Lawrence B. Munsey
  • Lighting Designer: Coleen M. Foley
  • Sound Designer: Drew Dedrick
  • Production Manager: Vickie S. Johnson
  • Production Stage Manager: Kate Wackerle
  • Stage Managers: Drew Dedrick, Kate Wackerle
  • Technical Director/Master Electrician: Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Master Carpenter: Jason Krznarich
  • Set Construction: Corey Brown, Jason Krznarich, Russell Sunday
  • Properties and Set Dressing: Amy Kaplan
  • Light Board Operators: Cheryl Hale, Coleen M. Foley, Erin MacDonald
  • Sound Operators: Drew Dedrick, Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Stage Crew: Danny Clemens, Ashley Grant, Erin MacDonald

Theatre Staff

  • Artistic Director: Toby Orenstein
  • Associate Artistic Directors: David A. Hopkins, Lawrence B. Munsey
  • General Manager: Joel Friedman
  • Assistant Manager: Patrick Albright
  • Form Manager: Steve Lewis
  • Chef / Kitchen Manager: Chuck Cofield
  • Chef / Assistant Kitchen Manager: Anthony Beachum
  • Director of Group Sales / Tour and Travel: Cheryl Clemens
  • Assistant Director of Group Sales / Tour and Travel: Audrey Kyle
  • Group Sales Hosting Staff: Heidi Berry, Bonnie Ciborowski, Sandy Ciborowski, Paula Jones, Marsha Raymond
  • Director of Marketing: Nancy Michel
  • Box Office Manager: Judy Abrams
  • Box Office Staff: Judy Berry, Laura Blasi, Mary Dempsey, Lynae Harris,
  • Breena Hebron, Estelle King, Clare Krasnick, Marie Moineau
  • Bookkeeper: Bayna Castner
  • Technical Director: Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Theatre Photographer / Website Developer: Kirstine Christiansen
  • Youth Theatre Administrator: Toba Barth
  • Bar Manager: Shawn Kettering
  • Maintenance Engineers: Stephen B. Harris, Mike Monahan

Disclaimer: Toby’s Dinner Theater provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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is founder and Artistic Director of OutOftheBlackBox Theatre Company (O2B2) and General Manager of the Greenbelt Arts Center. Since 2006 Betsy has worked as a director, producer, designer and more. Betsy has also worked with Washington Revels, Arena Stage, the now-defunct Harlequin Dinner Theatre and with community theatre companies both in Maryland and in upstate New York. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Technical Theatre from SUNY New Paltz. Through Hawkeswood Productions, Betsy produces archival performance videos and YouTube highlight spots.

2 Responses »

  1. Thank you!

  2. I agree with Betsy! The cast was habit-forming!