September 18, 2008

Musical Comedy ‘Nunsense’ is Hilarious, ‘Habit Forming’


The Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre opened its 17th season Friday with Dan Goggin's musical comedy, Nunsense. The 1985 award- winning off-Broadway show has been performed all over the world and is a popular choice for community theater groups. ABET's production is fun, entertaining and full of laughs.

Director Judy Hulett clearly has an appreciation for humor because she has produced a funny and enjoyable show. Hulett is quick to give credit to the talented people who supported her efforts. Laura Peden provided musical direction and Patty Zipperer supplied the choreography.

The story begins as the Little Sisters of Hoboken discover their cook, Sister Julia Child of God, has accidentally killed 52 members with a tainted recipe. The convent is in crisis because they don't have enough money to pay for all the burials, in part because the Reverend Mother bought a VCR. With four deceased nuns on ice in the freezer, five of the surviving nuns decide to stage a variety show in the Mount Saint Helen's School auditorium to raise money for the burials.

The show features singing and dancing and audience members are invited to take part in a quiz and clap along to some of the songs. These nuns, as they like to say, are habit forming. The show is hilarious - full of wacky humor punctuated with plenty of puns.

Hulett assembled a very talented Nunsense cast with beautiful singing voices, and they can dance and handle the comic romps of this show.

Despite its big musical numbers, Nunsense works well on ABET's intimate stage. Mary Ellen Richards designed the set, allowing the actors to reach out to the audience and use the theater's front door. Brian Frank adds to the energy with his lighting and sound design. And Jane Bull keeps all the madness under control as stage manager.

Bull also led the ABET Guild's chair drive. The theater has new seating that is much more comfortable than its previous chairs. All the new chairs were filled Friday and Saturday night opening weekend.

Nunsense is a heavenly show that will leave you smiling. For reservations, call 249-7177 or visit YOU GONunsense runs through Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. There will also be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sept. 21. The theater is in the Adele Grage Cultural Center, 716 Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Beach. All tickets are $20 and reservations are recommended. For reservations, call 249-7177 or visit

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