“Nunsense: The Mega Musical” delights audiences

Holier Than Thou: The cast of "Nunsense: The Mega Musical" performs the last song of the evening, "Holier Than Thou". The song was sang about how each of the sisters was drawn to becoming a nun.

Ali Dade

“Nunsense: The Mega Musical” is the current running production at Topeka Civic Theatre.

“Nunsense,” is a musical revolving around eight nuns, one Revered Mother and one Father. These however, are not your normal nuns, but self-proclaimed “fun nuns,” who are faced with financial issues after losing 52 of their fellow sisters to food poisoning caused by the infamous Sister, Julia Child of God. The musical is portrayed as a “fundraiser” towards the audience, as they attempt to raise the money they need to bury the remaining four nuns, who are currently being kept in the freezer of the Mount Saint Helen’s Catholic Middle School in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Other issues arise as the show goes on, including a visit from the health inspector, who threatens to shut down the school, and one of the nuns finding a stash of drugs, which is turned over to the Reverend Mother, who “accidentally” gets high on the stash. The true accidentality of the ordeal is up for question during the entirety of the show.

The aforementioned scene and monologue of the Reverend Mother, played by Grace Morrison, finished up the first act and was truly the highlight of the show, causing an absolute comedic uproar in the audience.

The script and songs showcased held just enough dry humor to be bizarre, but still relatively understandable. The only downfall that audiences may face are the many jokes about Catholicism among many other religions. Presented to the wrong audience, some may find these jokes offensive, or just miss them all together. That being said, the audience present on the opening night of the show did not feel that way.

“Nunsense” is a wickedly funny show, and Topeka Civic Theatre’s version of this show emphasizes that. The production involves audience participation both before and during the show. Before the show began, a few of the characters took turns bringing different audience members on stage to play basketball, hula hoop and twirl batons. During intermission, before the show began again, each of the nuns took turns telling their favorite religion-inspired jokes, my personal favorite being:

“What did Jesus say at the last supper?

If you want to be in the picture, you’ve got to get on this side of the table!”

The casting for the show was spot-on, each of the actors truly bringing to life their unique characters. The cast held a convincing, comedic dynamic that enchanted the audience. The evening was spectacular and I feel the cast should get special recognition for thriving through the heavy and thunderous storms outside the theater on the opening evening that attempted to overshadow the actors. About halfway through the second act of the show, a torrential downpour ensued, causing the inside of the theater to fill with the sounds of rain, which meant that the actors on stage, at the time, had to practically scream in order for the audience to properly hear them.

“Nunsense: The Mega Musical” will be running on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., with an optional dinner at 6 p.m. through October 8. Thursday showings will occur on Sept. 29 and October 6 at 7 p.m., and a Sunday matinee will be offered at 2 p.m. on Sept. 25 and October 2, with an optional brunch at 12:30 p.m.