Aug 302006
 
Authors: SHAUGHNESSY CONLEY Rocky Mountain Collegian

Vegas never thought it would feature five nuns in boas and sequined hats doing high-kicks on the stage.

But Vegas never met these nuns.

Introducing the order of the Little Sisters of Hoboken, featuring Reverend Mother Superior; Sister Robert Anne, a former Brooklyn gangster; Sister Leo, a dancer; Sister Amnesia, who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head; and Sister Mary Hubert. “Nunsensations” creates a riot when the five nuns decide to try their luck in Vegas for the promise of $10,000 to fund their school.

The show opens with a number featuring all five of the nuns in a risqu/ kick-line, in which one of the nuns lifts up her skirt and flashes the audience a lot of leg.

The nuns’ act features silver-sequined top hats, feather boas, various musical acts, stand-up comedy and vignettes in which the nuns speak about their own ironically questionable histories.

The Reverend Mother talks about her childhood growing up in the circus, and Sister Leo, a dancer for most of her life, gives a detailed account of all her dance experience, including that of questionable moral integrity – she has training in not only ballet and tap but also in pole and lap dancing. These examples barely scrape the surface of the refreshingly paradoxical references that populate this show, and the audience will have fun relating to the nuns’ experiences. The top hats and feather boas, however, might be the exceptions.

Deliciously ironic and peppered with musical numbers, “Nunsensations” sports an adorable crew of quirky characters, a slew of silly biblical jokes, a marionette nun puppet reminiscent of Sesame Street and audience involvement – after all, no Las Vegas experience would be truly complete without the “Holy Rollers” spin-to-win game that allows randomly selected audience members to gamble for a “Clergy: DO NOT TICKET” parking pass – a precious commodity, especially in a place with as crappy parking as Fort Collins.

A segment in the second act includes the story of Sister “Mary Annette,” her show-business successes and her philosophy on the ancient sin of lying: “A little bit of bullshit goes a long way.” Not only does Gina Schuh-Turner (Sr. Mary Amnesia) fantastically sing her own part and distinguish her colorful character from the others in a way that echoes television legend Lucille Ball, she is also the ventriloquist who animates Sister Mary Annette. And yes, the pun was intended.

Schuh-Turner, a longtime veteran of the theatre and talented actor, is no stranger to the world of the theatre. This is only one of several shows that she has performed at the Nonesuch Theater, one of which garnered her Westword’s “Best of Denver 2006” Award for “Best Actress in a Musical.” All of the actors in this show are seasoned performers from throughout the area and their work reflects it.

Directed by Fort Collins resident Peter F. Muller, “Nunsensations” is playing currently at the Nonesuch Theater on Pine Street in Old Town’s historic district, one of the best-kept secrets in Fort Collins.

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Plays Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday Evenings and Sunday Matinees: $20.00

Friday Evenings: $24.00

Saturday Evenings: $27.50

Lobby opens 30 minutes prior to show time. Reservations are suggested. If you do not have a reservation, it is also strongly recommended that you call ahead to ensure the availability of tickets.

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