This is a reprint of my remarks about “Nunsense” at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater presented in their Stackner Cabaret during the 2019 – 2020 season. This originally appeared on my Facebook timeline November 11, 2019.
The Milwaukee Repertory Theater opened their production of Nunsense in the Stackner Cabaret this past weekend. And the musical presents just what you’d expect from Nunsense. A ton of music and some silly connecting banter and storytelling in between. And the Stackner is a perfect venue. But the text has gotten a bit dated and some of the jokes don’t work as well as in 1985…even for a former Catholic of the target demographic age…but don’t let that stop you from seeing this!
Director Malkia Stampley has the perfect ensemble and she has them playing to type and against type marvelously. And the ensemble singing as well as solos are just a lot of fun. My favorite character is Sister Mary Amnesia. She is played by Veronica Garza….with the right amount of confusion, enthusiasm, and whimsy to represent a nun who has forgotten who she is. And her voice can just hit all of the highest note and fill the room at the same time.
Melody Betts plays Mother Superior, Sister Mary Regina. And you never quite know if she is trying to remain the stern Mother Superior or at times is wishing she could be just one of the girls. Ms. Betts gets it absolutely right and when she gets to play against her character, it’s a lot of fun!
Sister Mary Hubert? Down to earth and something of a stabilizing influence without really intending to be is perfectly played by Lachrisa Grandberry. And she just rocks the whole center stage with her rendition of the gospel music inspired “Holier Than Thou”. For me it was the highlight of the evening.
And then we have Sisters Robert Anne and Mary Leo. Two aspiring artists…with unlimited energy. Robert Anne, Kelley Falkner is pushing and pushing to have a solo in the nuns fundraiser show…and finally Sister Mary Regina relents. And of course it is perfect and even the Mother Superior has to admit it. And Candace Thomas’ portrayal of a ‘dying nun’ is hilarious. Part flying nun, part dying swan, Ms. Thomas just makes it…well just Nunsense!
A wonderful time was had by all!
Now for a commercial: The Stackner Cabaret has a full dinner menu so make a reservation or get there early and enjoy an outstanding meal before your show. And I have it on good authority that the hot adult coffee selections are pretty darn good.