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Cast of Nuncrackers

Local Raconteur

'Nuncrackers'

The Nunsense Christmas Musical
December 6-8, December 12-15, December 19-22, 2002
Artistic and Musical Director: Mary Lou Keenan

myrnans, may I suggest that you turn off the TV sitcoms and go to the New Smyrna Beach Little Theatre to see some real comedy. And Sugar Plum Fairies, please take note - you'd better have a long talk with David Jenkins before he ruins your image. Nuncrackers is playing at the Little Theatre for one more week. And I must tell you that I wasn't prepared for this much fun. I just wasn't. There is so much holiday spirit oozing from this cast, that by the time it's over, you'll feel like some of it spilled out on you.

Nuncrackers, a musical-comedy written by Dan Goggin, is another in his Nunsense series of productions, which takes a wonderfully nostalgic look at growing up Catholic in Hoboken, N.J. In Nuncrackers, the Sisters and Father Virgil think they know how to put on a Christmas Show.

Jenkins plays Father Virgil. If you've not seen David on stage before, this might just be the time. In one scene, you'll see Father Virgil doing an impression of a nun doing an impression of Chef Julia making a fruit cake. Jenkins does the routine so perfectly that between fits of side-splitting laughter, you see just enough of his fading in and out of all three of the characters to make you want to come back again the next night to see it again.

This cast works well together. One plays off the other in a tempo that keeps the laughter flowing. Every one of the cast members is a true vocalist. They belt out each tune's hilarious lyrics in real musical theatre tradition. This LT production of Nunsense has such a convincing portrayal of thespian talent that the evening's performance begs the question: "Could this cast be Broadway bound?"

The Reverend Mother, Sister Mary Regina, is played by veteran performer, Shelly Wawrzonek. With Nuncrackers, the Little Theatre has produced four of Goggin's Nunsense series and Shelly has appeared in all of them. She really delivers in her solo performance of A Carnival Christmas. And her portrayal of the loveable Reverend Mother was just irreverent enough that I kept wondering if she was really going to hit somebody with that cane.

Sister Mary Paul, played by Julie Stork-MacKlefresh and otherwise known as Sister Amnesia, gets things rolling at the beginning with a Secret Santa routine. The audience sees her up close as she delivers really witty punch lines from just a few feet way while handing out gag gifts. Julie has also played in the four Nunsense productions at the Little Theatre. Amnesia's singing Santa Ain't Comin' To Our House backed up by other members in the cast showcases Julie's exceptional talents as a musical-comedy performer.

Pat Justin, another veteran actor, first appeared at the Little Theatre in last season's production of The Octette Bridge Club. While her character in this production takes on a supporting role, Pat's presence was a key ingredient in musical numbers like In The Convent. You'll swear it's the Village People up there on stage as Pat and the rest of the cast put on their hard hats and punch out In The Convent lyrics in true Y.M.C.A. and In The Navy song style.

Sandra Lipscomb plays the street-wise Sister Robert Anne. How can you not like a nun with a Brooklyn accent? Deez, dem and doze - she does it impeccably. That accent blends in gracefully as she croons All I Want For Christmas, and gets backing from the cast in Jesus Was Born In Brooklyn.

Director Mary Lou Keenan wears several hats in this production. She's the Musical and Artistic Director and she also plays the keyboard in the band where she is complemented by Melyssa Clibbons on bass guitar and percussionist Ryan Jenkins. Mary Lou is quick to give credit to the cast and crew for this successful production, but the presence of her excellent musical talents and her veteran skills as a director have really brought this show together. Cast and crew will tell you that.

The cast includes seven children's roles. They are played by Evan Clancy, Michael Stewart, Courtney Rumbaut, Kalyn Wyckoff, Ashley Roberts, Melissa Roberts and Sarah Durrance. All have excellent stage presence and four are veteran performers.

The crew for this Little Theatre production includes Stage Manager, Hal Linn; Technical Director, Bill Roehrborn; Student Director, Alex Lehr; Production Coordinator, Harriet Winokur; Choreographer, Karin Jenkins; Set Decoration, Ann Knadle; Properties, Camille Dickinson and Judy Szeiler; Costumes, Rose Dingas, Ruth Stammen, Diane Jingozian; Lights and Sound, Debbi Zill; Backstage Mom, Bobbi Clancy; Make-up, Karin Jenkins; Hair, David Jenkins, Visual Impressions; Publicity, Dottie Hughes, Taffy Abbaticchio; Programs, Dottie Hughes, Susan Bradley; Photography, Mark Steigner, Seacoast Images.

The audience shares the fun. They look at each other and laugh in knowing recognition. Either because they are Catholic and the memories of growing up with characters like this are so real, or because it is just so darned funny, they want to share it with the persons sitting nearby. With intermission, the play runs just under 2 hours. You'll wish it were longer.

This final week of performances are at 8 p.m. on December 19, 20, and 21 with a matinee on Sunday, December 22 at 2 p.m. For more information, contact the Little Theatre at 386-423-1246.

Smyrnans can usually find Bill Cook wandering about town looking for a story of interest to the folks in our locale. Maybe yours will be his next tale. You can write to him at PO Box 1029, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170 or send e-mail to Bill.Cook@GCO.COM.

   



Copyright 2003 the Little Theatre of New Smyrna Beach, Inc.