Nuns Just Want to Have Fun at Saint John Theatre Company for this 'Nunsense'

Saint John Theatre Company, New Brunswick

Saint John Theatre Company Facebook page

Aaron Kropf, Canadian East Coast blogger/reviewer

Saint John Theatre Company welcomed audiences back to the theatre with the exuberant, joyous and often outrageous romp of Dan Goggin’s Nunsense.

I have to start by saying that it was wonderful to see people back in theatre seats, even while I enjoyed the production from home. Saint John Theatre Company made some wise decisions during the pandemic and often had to change course throughout so they could continue to entertain New Brunswickers.

Nunsense is one of those wise choices; this slot in their schedule was supposed to be ‘Mary Poppins’, but given the restrictions in New Brunswick something else needed to be brought to the stage.

Nunsense is the story of five nuns, and one priest, putting on a show to raise funds to bury the last four sisters that died tragically of botulism that killed almost the whole order (except these five survivors, because they were at Bingo, of course they were). They decide to put on a talent show as a fundraiser. Each of the nuns gets a chance to shine, tell their own story, and let their musical talents shine. A major side story is that of Sister Mary Amnesia who was hit on the head with a cross and cannot remember anything about herself and joined the order after the incident.

There is so much to enjoy in this production.

One highlight was Sister Mary Amnesia’s (Jen Downey) number “So You Want to Be a Nun” done with a foul-mouthed puppet. Downey has a wonderful sense of comedic timing, and her interactions with the puppet were hilarious. Another gem in this production was Andrea Paddock’s portrayal of Sister Mary Leo the dancing nun. Her dancing was delightful to watch, and I was surprised to see some on point dance during her big dance numbers. Each time she danced I longed for more.

Finally, it needs to be noted that “Holier Than Thou” was a real showstopper. Sister Mary Hubert (Jo-Anne MacDonald) lead the cast in this foot stomping, hand clapping, gospel crowed pleaser of a number. It is one of those songs that makes you want to get up and move. Nunsense brought a lot of humour, tones of joy, and such a fantastic show to welcome audiences back to in-person theatre.

This was a show that welcomed audiences back to the theatre with a bang! And it was nice how they involved the at home audience throughout the production as well. After so many months of the pandemic and not being able to enter the theatre, and share those experiences with others, the thrill of it is back.

I look forward to joining those that were at the theatre for the next production.

Thank you, Saint John Theatre Company, for bringing us together again.

Nunsense wraps Saturday May 22 with another hybrid in person and online show at 7:30 pm. There are still a few chances left to attend the show at Imperial. To reserve your socially distanced seats, call 506-674-4100 or go to https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/45542 if you wish to see tonight’s production from the comfort of your home.

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