Reviewer: Howard Steven Frydman aka “The Howard”
Production: NUNSENSE – With A Twist
Theater: Seven Angels Theatre
Playwright: Dan Goggin
Music/Lyrics: Dan Goggin
Directors: Jimmy Donohue & Semina DeLaurentis
The Howard’s Exhale – “Nunsense – The Angels Are Among Us!
Overture, curtains, lights, This is it, the night of nights – my friends, I have not been in a live theater in over a year and a half- so here I sit in the majestic Seven Angels Theater, in Waterbury, Connecticut, and as they say “On with the show this is it”! The show – the musical comedy – Nunsense – “With a Twist”. Well get thee to a nunnery!
My first journey has brought me to the house of Semina DeLaurentis- yes “the one and only” Semina- let me state for the record – that the legendary Miss Semina is a treasure – a national and state treasure- Connecticut’s First Lady of Stage! We are so rightly proud of her theater and to be able to see this well renowned actress up close, performing on stage in the production and the role of Sister Mary Amnesia, that she originated and has been associated with for over 35 years. We now assemble our heavenly angelic stars – ahem – those surviving “Little Sisters of Hoboken”- our additional cast includes; Tom Chute as Sister Mary Regina, Jimmy Donohue as Sister Mary Hubert, Marissa Follo Perry as Sister Mary Leo, Mandy Leigh Thompson as Sister Robert Anne, and lastly and not to be forgotten, Sister Mary Annette. Book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggins, and co-directed by Jimmy Donohue & Semina DeLaurentis.
So here I humbly sit with a joyous full audience in attendance. Seven Angels Theater is alive again. The “Good Story” according to Goggins – come meet five of the 19 surviving Little Sisters of Hoboken, New Jersey. A tragedy has once again befallen the sisterly order, – oy vey – a tale of woe – what could it be?! Originally a missionary order that ran a leper colony in the south of France, ahem, I mean on an island south of France (please take note of this important fact) until the sisters themselves started to physically fall apart and they returned back to the good ol’ USA.
Holy Mal De Mer! Yet now another act of Armageddon has occurred among the sisters – a culinary disaster of the most biblical proportions- Chef Sister Julia, Child of God (ahem) has unfortunately prepared her infamous vichyssoise for a final last supper, tainted and oh-so deadly, that 52 of the sisters are heaven-sent. The Little Sisters of Hoboken, have only enough funds to bury 48 of the 52 sisters – Sister Mary Regina/Reverend Mother (the most exalted Tom Chute) has spent the extra funds needed for burial on a brand new HD 4K Television- what to do – WHAT TO DO?! Why put on a musical, comedy, laugh out loud variety show, what else!
I truly admit, I’ve seen Nunsense performed at other theatrical venues, but never with Semina DeLaurentis in performance- my friends she is a gem, a dynamo, a master of comedy, a literal ball of energy – a hoot and a half! I was thrilled when she began the “act” where she gentle but firmly quizzes the audience. Question one – “and the leper colony was established on an island south of ? I quickly raised my hand and retorted “France” and received my genuine St. Christopher Motorist Prayer Card from Sister Mary Amnesia. Believe you me, I was thrilled to receive the card, and that throughout the show she acknowledged pointedly that I was the “card collector guy”. Another not to be missed Semina moment is when now accompanied by the bawdy, but oh so lovable hand-puppet, Sister Mary Annette – belts out ”So You Want To Be A Nun” – an unforgettable fun-tastic moment!
As they say a great cast is worth repeating, Miss DeLaurentis, is surrounded by an “oh so” satisfying sisterly assemblage. Tom Chute – the longtime WATR morning host, portrays Sister Mary Regina, the Reverend Mother, you sir were extraordinary – truly exceptional on stage, singing, dancing, a wonderfully playful tongue in cheek performance! Thank you Tom! We told you about Jimmy Donohue when we reviewed “Elf The Musical” at Seven Angels – our opinion of him remains the same I’m afraid- “this future Tony/Academy/Emmy/Grammy star is Mr. Jimmy Donohue – this is “star” quality – I want you to remember his name, Jimmy Donohue”. Jimmy ya did good as Sister Mary Hubert- you are a Star! -‘nuff said! Marissa Follo Perry as Sister Mary Leo – we also saw her last in playwright Jacques Lamarre’s “Love and Spumoni” – as usual you are simply radiant on stage-a true triple treat to the eyes and ears. Miss Mandy Leigh Thompson portrays Sister Anne, I have not had the previous opportunity to see you perform- but throughout the show you simply soar on stage! What a voice on you -clear crisp precise- Outstanding talent on stage! Miss Thompson, you also deserve to receive the coveted “Howard Noticed You” Award – great job! Nunsense at Seven Angels is an Outstanding opportunity to see greatness on stage that is not to be missed! Enjoy!
Evening and matinee shows available. Tickets are $30. Call the Seven Angels Theatre box office at 203-757-4676, online at sevenangelstheatre.org, or stop in on Plank Road in Waterbury. Bring your friends for a great night out. Doors and Devil’s Corner Bar open 1 hour before curtain. Free Parking. Minutes off I-84.
Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com.