“Nunsense,” now at the Pollock Stage at the Sacramento Theatre Company, is very much the theatrical equivalent of comfort food. A staged version of macaroni and cheese with whopping portions of bright-orange Velveeta starring as the cheese.
You shouldn’t really make a full meal from it, though – not enough healthy nutrition, all that cholesterol and the like. Still, it’s a product familiar to many and thoroughly enjoyed by people who eat that sort of thing. A matinee audience at Sacramento Theatre Company mostly ate up the performance I saw (though a small group, perhaps having had their fill, did leave at intermission).
Creator Dan Goggin’s show originated in 1985 as a line of cheeky greeting cards and has never really gone deeper than its humble beginnings. But then Hallmark has a million-dollar entertainment brand and its own dedicated television channel, so the market clearly has legs.
The original Off-Broadway production ran for 3,672 performances. becoming the second-longest-running Off-Broadway show in history. “Nunsense” has become its own cottage industry in community theater, having generated six sequels and three spinoffs.
The story’s premise has the audience about to watch a benefit variety show by the five surviving sisters of the Little Sisters of Hoboken, a one-time missionary order that ran a leper colony on an island south of France. Their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally whipped up a batch of bad vichyssoise, wiping out 52 of the sisters.
Forty-eight have been buried and four are in a freezer because the sisters ran out of money after Mother Superior sprang for a plasma TV while thinking all their costs were covered.
The corn grows high in the various skits and songs put on by the sisters. Still, the cast’s talent often pokes it through. Lucinda Hitchcock Cone, seen too little locally, leads the way as Mother Superior with the fine Miranda D. Lawson as Sister Mary Hubert. (They have a charming duet on “Just a Couple of Sisters.”)
The rest of the solid cast includes Gina Coyle as Sister Robert Anne, Amanda Goldrick as Sister Mary Amnesia, and STC Young Professional student Kiki Burns as Sister Mary Leo. Young Professional student Bella Coppola alternates in the Mary Leo role. Michael Laun directed and staged the resolute production with assistance from Ed Brazo.
If you’re not watching your weight in the New Year, you can indulge yourself here. Those trying to be healthier might want to skip this meal.
Call The Bee’s Marcus
Crowder, (916) 321-1120.
What: Dan Goggin’s musical comedy starring Lucinda Hitchcock Cone and Miranda D. Lawson, directed by Michael Laun
When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 15
Where: Pollock Stage, Sacramento Theatre Company, 1419 H St., Sacramento
Information: (916) 443-6722; www.sactheatre.org