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September 24, 2018 September 24, 2018

LMT serves up another helping of ‘Nunsense’

Posted on June 6, 2018 by Richard Amery

What’s more fun than nunsense? More nunsense.
Lethbridge Musical Theatre continues the story of Sister Mary Amnesia, Sister Robert Ann, Sister Mary Leo and the Mother Superior, who were forced to hold a fundraising concert to bury their dearly departed sisters who died from eating poisoned soup and who they couldn’t afford to bury otherwise in the musical “Nunsense.”
Lethbridge Musical Theatre put on the original production in 2016 and return with the sequel “Nunsense 2,” June 14-16 at the McNally Community Centre.
The sequel is a thank-you concert for everybody who supported the nuns the first time, and like in the original, everything that can go wrong does go wrong in the sequel — particularly revitalized Sister Amnesia, whose lottery winnings saved the day in the original, and whose memory is slowly returning. This time she may be a Franciscan, she just forgot about it.
Stephanie Savage is excited to make her musical debut in “Nunsense 2” as novice nun Sister Mary Leo.
“I took drama in high school. I’ve never done a musical before, but I’ve always wanted to be in a musical. It’s interesting, but three of the five of us have never really done anything like this before. It’s been a lot to learn, but it is a lot of fun. We have a really dedicated cast,” said Savage, who is also stage managing Shakespeare in the Park’s production of “The Tempest,” which opens June 28.
“Luckily I have a great assistant stage manager, Shelby Reed, for ‘The Tempest.’ And Kate (Connelly, Shakespeare in the Park’s artistic director) has been really wonderful and amazing,” she continued, noting “Nunsense 2” is a fundraiser for a bigger Lethbridge Musical Theatre production in the fall.
She is enjoying playing Sister Mary Leo.
“It’s been a lot of work but a lot of fun. Sister Leo is the novice. She’s young and sweet and definitely wants to be a star,” she said.
She is joined by Hannah Lawson as Sister Mary Robert, Jan Jelli as Sister Hubert, Christina Peterson as the Reverend Mother and Monica Baczuk, the last nun standing from the last production, who played the Reverend Mother in the last production of “Nunsense,” but plays Sister Mary Amnesia in this production.
“I played the Reverend Mother in ‘Nunsense.’ This has been different playing Sister Mary Amnesia. She’s got some of the best lines. It’s been a different cast, but it’s been fun and nice,” Baczuk said.
“I’m really glad I didn’t have to learn how to roller skate like Stephanie does. But I did have to learn how to play the accordion for this production, which has been fun. The keyboard part of it is similar to a piano,” she said.
“It’s a really strong cast. We really like each other. We even get together outside of rehearsals,” she added, noting they rehearse almost every night.
Director Rita Peterson is a familiar face with Playgoers of Lethbridge, but decided to try something a little different by directing a musical.
“I had really enjoyed ‘Nunsense.’ It was really fun. ‘Nunsense 2’ is beautiful, fun, moving and humourous,” she said.
“The cast is great. They‘re really dedicated. They rehearse five days a week and on their own time,” she said, adding directing a musical is a different experience than directing a play, like she has many times.
“You have to think about choreography too,” she said, adding she has a dedicated crew back stage including Gerry Unger, who is choreographing the show, new stage manager Lyle Boswell. “Sister” Jillian Bracken is back on piano and Sandy Brunelle returns as vocal director.
Another challenge has been trying to find rehearsal space, with the Yates theatre still under construction.
“So we’ve been rehearsing everywhere, seniors’ homes, people’s basements. we’ve even been at Casa a couple of times,” Peterson said.
She is excited about the show. The big question in this production is Sister Amnesia.
“She may be a Franciscan. She won the lottery last time and saved them. This time, they’re afraid they will lose her and her money,” Peterson said.
Tickets for “Nunsense 2” are available at Casa for $20. “Nunsense 2” runs at the McNally Community Centre (210075 Township Road 8-2) at 7:30 p.m. each night, June 14-16.

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