Alliance Theatre NunsenseBy Laura & Mike Clark • Nov 13th, 2012 • Category: Reviews
Mountain View High School, Centreville, VA
Through November 18th
2:10 with one intermission
$16/$14 Student, Senior
Reviewed November 9th, 2012
There is some wacky zaniness that goes on when a group of nuns are forced to put on a fundraiser in order (sorry) to pay to bury the last four sisters out of 48 already buried who met an unfortunate demise over some bad soup. There’s singing, dancing, jokes, ballet and more in this fast-paced, hilarious comedy show. Be prepared for silly puns, great singing, and a quiz. Other than some minor sound and lighting issues, Alliance Theatre’s Nunsense was a fun experience.
There were several places in the show which allowed for some ad-libbing. The sisters accomplished this quite successfully. The audience had a great time, howling at the antics. All of the sisters were engaging to the audience and to each other. The audience participation questions were humorous and will change with every performance since every audience is different. The dance numbers were not always in sync, but that was ok since it reflected that not all of the nuns were “all together” anyway. The enthusiasm more than made up for the lack of Alvin Ailey training.
Lori Muhlstein stole the show as Sister Robert Anne. Her expressions, ease on stage, and willingness to get very silly made for a great time. Annie Ermlick was wonderful as amnesia victim Sister Mary Amnesia. A wonderful trio was the St. Andrews sisters (Becca Harney, Holly McDade and Ermlick).
The light design also took some getting used to, since many times the characters were in slightly dark light, making them hard to see. Costumes were fine, make sure you check out everyone’s shoes! All of the songs were upbeat or emotional, or just plain goofy. Yet it was all done with sincerity and a meaningful desire to lay the sisters to rest. Forget your worries for an evening and come to Mountain View High School to laugh out loud.
(Keep in mind France, lost the race, and Yes. Just a hint.)
“Nunsense is habit forming that’s what people say!”. Truer words were never spoken. When the time came to do this show the miracles started happening…sort of like divine intervention! Through a series of circumstances we had to change plans late in the game and, much like the Sisters in our story, had to put this little show with no preparation that is usually given to musicals.
Our original show (that we had been planning for months) suddenly wasn’t able to get off the ground. So at a moments notice in a noisy restaurant a few of us sat down and said “what do we do?”. Well we picked Nunsense The Mega Musical! We shifted dates (and people) around, got commitments from those who already auditioned, PRAYED, found some more people, PRAYED SOME MORE, and things started falling into place! There was even a business trip where I met Sister Mary Annette who came back with me to join our little show.
This just goes to show that no matter what the religion, faith will always pull you through and help you see your dreams realized, even if you didn’t know that was the dream in the first place!
Enjoy the show and have some fun with some Sisters who need to raise some money! Feel free to donate when they come through with the collection plates, sing and dance if you want to. Listen to the message of the endeavor and have a great time!
Scott Olson, Director
Photos provided by The Alliance Theatre
- Reverend Mother Mary Regina: Holly Czuchna
- Sister Mary Amnesia: Annie Ermlick
- Father Virgil: Greg Garcia
- Sister Mary Leo: Becca Harney
- Sister Mary Brenden: Valerie Hartnett
- School Janitor: Evan Kohnstam
- Sister Mary Hubert: Rianke Krugel
- Sister Mary Luke: Holly McDade
- Sister Robert Anne: Lori Mulstein
- Sister Mary Felicity: Hana Tawil
- Sister Julia, Child of God: Ellen Woodstock
- Piano: Beth Atkins (Nov. 2, 3, 9, 10)
- Matt Jeffrey (Nov, 16, 17, 18)
- Percussion: Kevin Farmer
- Bass: Rick Netherton
Production & Support Staff
- Producer: Michelle Bogert & Maggie Swan
- Director: Scott Olson
- Music Director: Beth Atkins
- Choreographer: Cathy Arnold
- Stage Manager: Tayler Fischer
- Set Design: Maggie Swan
- Set Construction: Marty Griggs
- Set Paint Designer: Leslie Anne Ross
- Set Decoration: K Clayton/Maggie Swan
- Properties: K Clayton/Maggie Swan
- Special Effects:NA
- Lighting Design: Kurt Gustafson
- Sound Design: Tayler Fischer
- Costume Designer: Sabrina Chandler, Claudia Tameris
- Hair Design: NA
- Makeup Design: Cast
- Backstage Manager: Courtney Jennelle
- Lighting Crew: Liam DeVoe, Alana DeVoe
- Set Construction Crew: Bill Arnold, Albert Bogert, Steve Cooper, Jen Farmer, Marty Griggs, Charlie Kohnstam, Terry Mason, Steve Moss, Scott Olson, Nadir Tawil
- Set Painters: Alana DeVoe, Jen Farmer, Leslie Anne Ross, Maggie Swan, Elaine Wilson
- Sound Board Operator: Tayler Fischer, Jen Farmer, Michael Brown
- Sound Assistant: Mary DeVoe
- Auditions: Mary DeVoe, Meg Mason
- Box Office Manager: Marwan Nabulsi
- Box Office Support: Wendy Hutzenbiler, Laurie Griggs, Dawne LeKang, Meg Mason, Silvia Tawil, Paula Witt
- Concessions Chair: Theresa Ingargiola
- Concession/usher: Michelle Bogert, Tina Dempsey, Jen Farmer, Madlyn Farmer, Cameron Fischer, Penny Fischer, Laurie Griggs, Megan Griggs, Betsy Harney, Steve Moss, Stephen Kutzleb, Dawne LeKang, Emily Meiburg, Sarah Meiburg
- Lobby Display: Michelle Bogert
- Still Photography: Laurie Griggs
- Program: Dawne LeKang, Dawne’s Technical Solutions
- Publicity: Michelle Bogert, Jen Farmer, Dawne LeKang, Sarah Meiburg, Marwan Nabulsi, Scott Olson, Maggie Swan & the Cast of Nunsense
- Publicity Panting: Michelle Bogert, Penny Fischer
- TAT Organization
- Costume Closet: Michelle Bogert
- Web Masters: Mary DeVoe, Dawne Lkang, Marwan Nabulsi
Disclaimer: Alliance Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. TAT also purchased advertising on the ShowBizRadio web site, which did not influence this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/8843.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.