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"Nunsense" production delivers big laughs

By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Know and Go:

What: Lincoln Theatre Company production of “Nunsense”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 and Nov. 11; and 2 p.m. Nov. 12

Where: Lincoln Civic Auditorium, 511 Fifth St.

Cost: $17.50 and $19.50

Info: lincolntheatrecompany.org or 409-7030

Laughter can be habit-forming, and in the case of the Lincoln Theatre Company’s production of “Nunsense,” that is good.

Written by Dan Goggin, “Nunsense” tells the light-hearted tale of five nuns trying to raise money so they can lay to rest four of their sisters who died in a tragic poisoning incident. I won’t go into too many more of the musical-comedy’s details so as not to spoil any of the laughs.

What I will go into is the great comedic chemistry displayed by Peggy Schechter, Erika Placencia, Karina Summers, Jessilee Windhaus and Isobel Hersch. Comedy can be difficult and relies on good material, timing and chemistry. The five women in “Nunsense” seemingly squeezed the opening night audience for all of the laughs possible.

In particular, Schechter and Placencia had the best timing for their lines when it came to laughs. Isobel Hersch, as the Reverend Mother Sister Mary Regina, had some of the best lines, so she received big laughs as well.

However, the biggest treat for me was the terrific singing voices that all five showed. In Act I, it seemed like Schechter, Windhaus and Hersch would dominate the singing, although Summers showed great range in “So You Want to be a Nun.”

However, in Act II, Placencia, in “Holier than Thou” and Summers, in “I Could Have Gone to Nashville” both nearly stole the show. It seemed like “I Could Have Gone to Nashville” was the clear audience favorite of the night.

The show also had a nice bit of audience-participation, with Summers, as Sister Mary Amnesia, giving a pop quiz to the audience. The scene showed off Summers’ improvisational skills, timing and charming personality, a funny bit that could have gone sideways, given the unpredictable nature of the audience’s answers.

The show was well-choreographed by director Jeff Teague, who has been responsible for the dance numbers in other Lincoln Theatre Company productions. Teague is a talented director and I hope he is brought back for more productions.

The Lincoln Theatre Company production of “Nunsense” is terrific date-night fare and a fun-filled production with great music and big laughs. Some of the humor may be lost on young children but everyone should enjoy the music and enthusiasm.

“Nunsense” runs weekends through Nov. 12 at the Lincoln Civic Auditorium, 511 Fifth St.