Friday, November 18, 2016

review - NUNSENSE: THE MEGA MUSICAL - Desert Foothills Theater

Brenda Goodenberger and Cast
photo: Tiffany Bollock
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through November 20th.

"Like the Energizer Bunny, the musical Nunsense has proven to have a non-stop life. Dan Goggin's whimsical show, which started as a humorous collection of satirical greeting cards before blossoming into a mega-hit Off-Broadway musical featuring a cast of five, has been adapted into an all-male version, spun off a holiday-themed edition, and filmed for TV. It has now been expanded into a show for a larger cast, entitled Nunsense: The Mega Musical Version. Desert Foothills Theater presents a two week run of the show in a charming, though not entirely hilarious, production...while his score is mostly forgettable, Goggin's wacky plot and humorous characters add plenty of comical moments to this charming musical. DFT's cast features several gifted performers, including two men who provide added moments of hilarity due to their cross-dressing nature. As the Reverend Mother, Phillip Arran has a lovely command of the part and the stage. While his take on the role is assured, it is also slightly more comical than other portrayals of the Reverend Mother that I've witnessed. It still works, though I wish he had more of a stern and fierce delivery in order to instill more of a controlling presence in this very controlling woman. Anne-Lise Koyabe is a breath of fresh air as Sister Hubert, ...provides many moments of humor with the wise-cracking quips and her expert double takes. Brenda Goodenberger is superb as Sister Amnesia, the nun who lost her memory after being hit on the head by a falling crucifix. Goodenberger's glazed over, "deer caught in the headlights," look is priceless and she doesn't miss a beat in ensuring every line is delivered with comic aplomb. ...Tina Khalil is the sister who aches to be a "star" and she does a fine job in making us see the star potential her character has. ...Lindsay Kalby does a nice job as the ballerina-loving sister and Matthew Harris is an absolute riot as Sister Julia, Child of God, the cook who made that deadly soup. Harris' Julia Child impression during the cooking segment is spot-on and hilarious. Director and choreographer Kat Bailes does a nice job of making sure the pacing of the show moves well and adds some fun dance bits, including a tap number that gets all of the nuns into the action. However, while most of the cast is able to land the the comical lines for big laughs, there are a few who don't quite succeed due to rushed delivery or not putting the emphasis on the correct words. ...Full of wit and innuendo, Nunsense is a fun-filled show that gives these sisters many moments to show the hilarity that is hiding beneath their habits. While DFT's production isn't as funny as it could be, it is still full of charm and features some talented women, and men, underneath those wimples. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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