Members of the Cherokee Community Theatre are currently in rehearsals for their next production, "Nunset Boulevard", the seventh and latest of the hilarious "Nunsense" series of plays.
The Nunsense concept originated as a line of greeting cards featuring a nun offering tart quips with a clerical slant. The cards caught on so quickly that author Dan Goggin decided to expand the concept into a cabaret show called "The Nunsense Story" which opened for a four-day run in Manhattan, and ended up playing for 38 weeks, encouraging its creator to expand it into a full-length theater production, and the original production of the full-length "Nunsense" opened at an Off-Broadway theatre before moving to the Douglas Fairbanks Theater for the majority of what turned out to be a ten-year run. It ran for 3,672 performances, becoming the second-longest running Off -Broadway show in history, after "The Fantasticks."
By the time "Nunsense" closed, it had become an international phenomenon, translated into at least 26 languages, and had grossed over $500 million worldwide.
Six more plays have followed, all with Music and Lyrics by Dan Goggin - "Nunsense 2: the Second Coming," "Nunsense Jamboree," "Nuncrackers- a Christmas Musical," "Meshuggah-Nuns," "Nunsense Vegas Revue," and now "Nunset Boulevard."
The Cherokee Community Theatre has produced every one of these plays, which poke innocent fun at life under the banner of Catholicism, Each play is filled with touching, poignant lyrics and upbeat cabaret-style music, and audiences revel in the rollicking good fun the quintet of nuns provide with their singing, dancing, acting, "groaners," bad puns, and other jokes.
Over 25,000 women have portrayed the five characters in the Nunsense plays in theaters around the world.
In the latest play, "Nunset Boulevard," The Little Sisters of Hoboken have been invited to sing at the famed Hollywood Bowl, and they are thrilled at the prospect - until they realize they were instead booked to perform at the Hollywood Bowl-A-Rama, a bowling alley with a cabaret lounge.
When they hear that auditions are being held for a movie musical, Nunset Boulevard, they recognize that landing a part in it would be a natural, although this also forces them to contemplate their true calling.
The local cast of "Nunset Boulevard" features Marci Brown as Reverend Mother, Sister Mary Regina; Becky Elemond as Sister Mary Hubert; Holly Ohlson as Sister Robert Anne; Lisa Lindeman as Sister Mary Amnesia; and Cheryl Ellis as Sister Mary Leo. All are Cherokee residents, with the exception of Lindeman, who resides in Storm Lake. Ohlson and Ellis have performed their roles in previous 'Nunsense' plays, while Brown and Elemond are "new Nuns," or Novices, if you will.
Musicians accompanying the members of the "Nunset Boulevard" cast include Tim Anderson on percussion, Brooks Begay on guitar, and Teresa Adams and Kristal Phillips on keyboards.
"Nunset Boulevard" will be directed by CCT veteran Sherry Held - who was also at the helm for the very first CCT production of "Nunsense" many years ago - and she will be ably assisted by Jenny Burroughs as Assistant Director.
Cherokee "Nunsense alums" include Carolyn Wiese. Eileen Tjeerdsma, Sally Ites, Rhonda Hampton, Karen Wiese, Julie Ades, Janet Brown, Ryan Brown, Blake Burroughs and Nick Halder.
"Nunset Boulevard" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on June 22, 23, 29 and 30, and there will be Sunday matinee performances, at 2 p.m., on June 24 and July 1. All performances will be at the Cherokee Community Center.
All tickets are reserved. CCT members' Season Tickets will be honored, but all others may