The zany nuns from the hit musical comedy Nunsense are back. The Broadway musical Meshuggah-Nuns will be presented by the Armstrong Atlantic State University Department of Art, Music & Theatre beginning July 13.
The Nunsense musicals were written by Dan Goggin, a professional singer before he became a writer and director.
The original Nunsense was such a hit, it led to Nunsense 2: The Second Coming; Nunsense 3: The Jamboree; Nunsense A-Men! with an all-male cast; Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical; Meshuggah-Nuns: The Ecumenical Nunsense; and most recently Nunsensations: The Nunsense Vegas Revue.
The AASU production is directed by Roger Miller. In this installment, the Little Sisters of Hoboken go on the Faith of all Denominations cruise. “There is a religious musical presented on the ship every week,” Miller says. “This week, they’re doing Fiddler on the Roof.”
But before the musical can be staged, disaster strikes. “A big storm hits,” Miller says. “Everyone in the cast but Howard Liszt, the man who plays Tevye, gets seasick.”
The ship’s captain has heard about the nuns and their talent for musical theater, so he asks them to join forces with Liszt and save the day. “They do different musical numbers and comic bits,” Miller says. “They put on a show.”
The nuns don’t do Fiddler on the Roof, but they certainly are inspired by it. “They talk about the differences between Jews and Catholics,” Miller says.“They say they don’t have much in common, then they realize the one thing they have in common is guilt.”
Instead of Tradition, the song Contrition is performed. “Howard sings If I Were a Catholic instead of If I Were a Rich Man,” Miller says.
The cast includes Sister Amnesia. “She was hit on the head with a crucifix in the original play and is a bit ditsy,” Miller says.
Sister Amnesia (real name Sister Mary Paul) originally wanted to be a country singer, so she performs a country-western song. “She does a magic act and goes out in the audience,” Miller says.
The Mother Superior, once a tightrope walker in the circus, sings Fat is My Fortune, a song inspired by Sophie Tucker. “They all dress in fat suits,” Miller says. “All the costumes are put over the nuns’ habits.” Members of the cast are Mickey Dodge as the Mother Superior, Keisha Williams as Sister Hubert, Jamie Busbin as Sister Robert Anne, Meghan Tuccillo as Sister Mary Paul (Amnesia) and Benjamin Wolfe as Howard Liszt.
Joseph Walker is the musical director and Pamela Z. Sears is the choreographer. “They’ve been a big, big help,” Miller says. “In a way, there is more on their shoulders than mine because there is song after son, dance after dance.”
You don’t have to be Catholic or Jewish to enjoy Meshuggah-Nuns, Miller says. “The production four years ago was sold-out,” he says. “If you liked it four years ago, you will like this one as much or more.”
Mario Incorvaia, arts marketing director at AASU, is a Nunsense fan. “When the first came out, it was only supposed to be a one-weekend run, but it ended up as an open-ended run,” he says.
“In this one, there are a lot of Yiddish references, a lot of Jewish and Catholic references,” Incorvaia says. “They realize the merits of the things that make each other different. They accept each other’s differences. It will be a fun production, no doubt about it.” ç
AASU-AMT presents Meshuggah-Nuns July 13-15 and 20-23 at 7:30 p.m. and July 16 and 23 at 3 p.m. in the Jenkins theater. Advance tickets are $10. Seniors, military and non-AASU students may purchase advance tickets for $8. Tickets at the door are $12 general admission and $10 for seniors, military and non-AASU students. AASU students, faculty and staff with ID admitted for $8. Call weekdays from 2-6 p.m. at 927-5381.
Sound of Music hits Tybee
An encore performance of the wildly popular local production of The Sound of Music is coming to Tybee Island.
The production, directed by Renee DeRossett, originally was produced by the City of Savannah’s Cultural Arts Theatre. The show sold out in its first week or a three-week run.
Carol Ingham of the Tybee Arts Association says the production is sponsored by the City of Tybee Island and the Tybee Arts Association’s performing arts branch. The City of Savannah’s Cultural Arts Theatre was instrumental in bringing the production to Tybee.
“We got together with them,” Ingham says. “They loaned us all our costumes, backdrops and most of the cast.” ç
Performances are July 21, 22, 23 and 24 at 8 p.m. at the Old Tybee School. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and TAA members and will be available at the door or online at tybeearts.org.