Once again, the Nunsensical Little Sisters of Mount Saint Helen are loose on the Community Little Theatre stage. “Meshuggah-Nuns!” – known as “The Ecumentical Nunsense” – is a new show by Dan Goggin, the same playwright who gave us four earlier entries in the popular “Nunsense” series. “Meshuggah-Nuns!” opens March 3 at the Auburn theater with an unreserved $5-a-seat preview and runs with regular performances for three weekends through March 20.

This time, the Reverend Mother and her madcap brood have won tickets for a “Faiths of All Nations” cruise. Their ship hits six days of choppy seas and the cast of the ship’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” is sent running for the barf bags -all except Tevye, the only cast member well enough to perform. He teams up with the Reverend Mother and the Sisters of Hoboken to prove the old adage, “The show must go on.” Miraculously, the unlikely combination results in a smash hit.

“This play is a delightful blend of Catholic and Jewish humor. It also has some of the most challenging music of the “Nunsense” shows,” said director Tim Pinkham. Some of the songs are “Contrition” and “If I Were a Catholic,” which are takeoffs of “Tradition” and “If I Were a Rich Man,” from the real “Fiddler on the Roof.” Pinkham also noted such comedy numbers as “Matzoh Man” (a spoof of the Village People’s “Macho Man”), “Three Shayna Maidels,” which is done in Andrews Sisters style, and “Say it in Yiddish.”

Pinkham added that the show’s finale, which spotlights the cast in a gospel-flavored rendition of “Rock the Boat,” is sure to be a delight for the audience.

As with all “Nunsense” shows, there’s plenty of audience involvement, said Pinkham, who has an experienced cast for this production. Most of the performers have been in other “Nunsense” productions. Audiences will remember Pattie Gravel as Sister Mary Regina as Reverend Mother, who tries to be strict and maintain order but who finds that things often get out of her control.

Pam Cote-Vaillancourt reprises her role as Sister Mary Hubert, Mistress of Novices, who wanted to be a nun all her life. Eileen Messina also returns to old habits in the role of Sister Robert Anne, who’s fearless and tough, but has a heart and soul of gold. Messina has performed the role on other stages, but this is her first appearance as the streetwise nun from Brooklyn at Community Little Theatre.

Rhonda Trask is Sister Mary Paul (aka Amnesia) who was hit on the head by a falling crucifix and for a long period didn’t remember who she was. Now everyone knows she is Sister Mary Paul, a country singer who jump-started her recording career by being the first nun to appear at the Grand Ole Opry.

John Blanchette, the show’s only male, appears as Howard Liszt, a professional actor and singer who was to perform as Tevye in the ship’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Pinkham’s production crew includes Ron Bouffard, assistant director; Pauline Caouette-Moore, producer; Paul G. Caron, music director; Eileen Messina, choreographer; Deb Desjardins, costumer; Richard Martin, lights; Marc Bissonnette, sound; Celeste Philippon, stage manager; Bob Moore, set construction; Melody Driscoll, rehearsal prompter; Vicki D. Roy, props; and Rachel Morin, publicist.

For “Nunsense fans who still haven’t had enough, there’s word that Dan Googins has come up with No. 6 in the series. It’s called “Nunsensations: The Nunsense Vegas Revue.” It will have its world premiere March 4 in Minneapolis, the same night the CLT nuns set off on their run of regular “Meshuggah-Nuns” performances.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.