`Nunsense’ Features Top Big Bear performers, Heavenly Fun on Stage

Nunsense at Community Church Big BearJust five of 19 nuns at the Little Sisters of Hoboken nunnery remain, the rest of the sisterhood having succumbed to botulism after eating vichyssoise prepared by Sister Julia, Child of God.

Sounds grim? Hardly. Instead it’s the setting for laughs galore and a catchy score when a talented Big Bear cast directed by Michael Reno presents Nunsense three shows only at Community Church’s Historic Chapel.

Shows at 7:30 p.m. November 10-11 and 1:30 p.m. Nov. 12 Sunday matinee are sure to be heavenly during musical comedy Nunsense, second longest running off-Broadway show ever. Big Bear’s production, presented by the Arts Council, stars five talented ladies with a slew of acting credits between them, directed by Reno, co-creator of the hit Sister Act, serving up plenty of star power.

Nunsense is a variety show within a show as the five sisters decide to use their talents to raise money to give the last four of the dead nuns a decent burial. The score pulses with merriment and laughter with songs and comedic interludes intertwined in a fast-paced production. Along with a hilarious audience participation skit in a show that’s fun for the whole family as it proves nun rhymes with fun.

With the recent retirement of Community Arts Theater Society (CATS) this is the first time some of its favorite performers have returned to the stage. Elena Peavy for instance was in the CATS curtain call Steel Magnolias with a wonderful performance and she starred in many shows for CATS including Wizard of Oz, Broadway Broads of Big Bear and more.

Ditto for Serena Saunders, another Steel Magnolia and Broadway Broad, absolutely terrific in Annie Get Your Gun, The King and I and others. Carolyn Freeman Champ is the third Nunsense cast member that was in Steel Magnolias and Broadway Broads and her lengthy list of CATS credits includes summer’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Her background includes two national tours and voiceover work.

Suzy Carpenter was another CATS stalwart who appeared in literally dozens of the company’s shows through many years, bringing both terrific voice and comedic skills to the stage, both useful for Nunsense. Rounding out the talented cast is Kris Colt.

Reno meanwhile directed a dazzling production for CATS last year of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Professionally he is the composer and lyricist of several revues which have performed across the country and Canada, including “Tidal Wave,” “Quarks: The First Minute,” “Weapons of Mass Deception” and “Gypsies.” Film credits include “The Lion King” plus television productions “Time On Their Hands” and “Coming to America.”

The Hallmark annual holiday movie “Twice Upon a Christmas” and Miss America Pageant are other projects. And he wrote the unofficial anthem for San Francisco in the 70’s and 80’s, “San Francisco Bye-Bye.”

Tickets are $20, senior/student $15. Purchase in advanced bigbearlakearts.org or at the door. Community Church is at 40946 Big Bear Blvd.

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