By ALAN SMASON
Look out! The Little Sisters of Hoboken are back, but you need not reach for your rosary beads or prepare to make an act of contrition. All you need do is head over to Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts for what may be the most up-to-date and fully realized version of Nunsense to come down the pike.
Directed by Gary Rucker, the five talented cast members portray the sisters of this order who are forced to put on a benefit show for very dark reasons. Fifty-two of the abbey’s members are now singing with the angels following a horrible bout with botulism from a vichysoisse prepared by Sister Grace one night.
While 48 sisters were given a proper Christian burial, the money ran out for the final four nuns, who are residing in the walk-in freezer. The Rivertown audience represents the people attending the fundraiser to bury that last quartet.
The results are hilarity and an evening of great entertainment, courtesy of Dan Goggin’s still wonderful script.
Laurie Reinagel leads the cast in the role of the Mother Superior, a dedicated, but flawed leader, who has some issues related to a certain expenditure of a big flat screen TV. Reinagel’s mother abbess is a delight to watch as she reacts or, in many cases, overreacts.
Christina Early portrays Sister Hurbert, the head of the novices. She regards her position as a stepping stone to taking over the order as the next Mother Superior, but in the meantime she has to be patient and occasionally get that dig in about that TV.
Chelsea Gidden is brassy and street-wise Sister Robert Ann, who knows the Jersey shore like the back of your hand, which she is prepared to hit should you get out of line.
Carrie Black as Sister Leo is ready to prove herself worthy of the order as she is a novitiate and seeking approval of her fellow sisters.
Jordan Lawrence rounds out the cast as Sister Amnesia, a nun who has forgotten her identity and who needs to be forgiven for occasional gaffes due to her mind wandering from time to time.
Together they sing and dance their way onto the stage and into your hearts. While all of the cast members possess lovely instruments, Lawrence, a graduate of the Music Department at Tulane University, possesses the most classically trained of the voices and uses it to great perfection.
Costumes were also by Rucker, while Ron Goldberg designed the set. Excellent lighting was provided by designer Stephen Thurber.
(Nunsense by Dan Goggin is directed by Gary Rucker at the Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts, 325 Minor Street in Kenner, LA. There is one show today, Saturday, April 17. The run concludes on Sunday, April 18 with two performances at 2 and 6 p.m. For ticket information go to Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts.)