A Heavenly Guide to the NUNSENSE Musicals
Happy National NUNSENSE Day! Yes, February 12th is a day devoted to the wacky and lovable Little Sisters of Hoboken, who have been entertaining audiences for decades in a series of hilarious and tuneful musicals. The shows are the brainchild of Dan Goggin, actor/singer/composer/lyricist/librettist and occasional star of the enormously successful series.
At Tams, we proudly offer seven shows in the NUNSENSE series. To honor Nunsense Day, let’s take a look at these divine musical comedies.
Six weeks after their first benefit, the sisters present a “thank-you” show for all their supporters, but now – having been “bitten by the theater bug” – they’re a bit more show-biz savvy. Things get to off to a rousing start (“Nunsense, the Magic Word”) but soon chaos erupts: two Franciscans come to claim Sister Mary Amnesia – who has won the Publishers’ Clearing House Sweepstakes – as one of their own, and all the sisters struggle to impress a talent scout in the audience.
- Sister Amnesia’s riotous bingo game
- The hilarious duet, “What Would Elvis Do?”
- “There’s Only One Way to End Your Prayers and That’s to Say Amen!”
Sister Mary Paul, a.k.a. Amnesia, hosts this hoedown to promote her newly released album, I Could’ve Gone to Nashville. Now that she’s regained her memory, Sr. Mary Paul embraces her identity as a former country singer. Reverend Mother, feeling that one should not waste God-given talent, gets Sister Mary Paul a recording contract, and this show is one stop on Amnesia’s national tour, which she hopes will take her to the Grand Ol’ Opry.
- Two new characters: Sister Mary Wilhelm (the convent nurse), and Father Virgil Manly Trott (Sister Leo’s real-life brother)
- The Catholic Country Auction, featuring an authentic Bible Belt
- “We know that somewhere up in heaven you’re a saint, Patsy Cline!”
The first “TV special” taped by the sisters in their convent basement studio for Cable Access, NUNCRACKERS stars the Mother Superior and the nuns you love, plus Father Virgil and some of Mt. Saint Helen’s most talented students. The school’s annual Christmas program starts with a rousing number, but it hits a few bumps when all the presents are stolen, and Sister Julia, Child of God, fails to show up for her cooking segment, leaving Father Virgil to bake (and sample) the rum-soaked fruitcake.
- Sister Amnesia’s “Secret Santa” drawing
- Mother Superior and Father Virgil in an uproarious Nutcracker Ballet
- “Christmas Time Is Nunsense Time!”
The sisters are enjoying an all-expense paid trip on the “Faiths of All Nations” Cruise. Unfortunately, everyone in the ship’s cast of Fiddler on the Roof, except the guy playing Tevye gets seasick, so the captain asks the sisters and Tevye to put on a show. The result? MESHUGGAH-NUNS! The variety show the sisters cook up includes a tribute to ship disasters of the cinema (“Das Boat”), an Andrew Sisters tribute (“Three Shayna Maidels”) and Sister Mary Annette, the puppet, as Mae West (“Come Up And See Me Sometime”).
- The sister’s Village People tribute, “Matzo Man”
- Sister Amnesia’s attempt at magic
- The sing-along, “Fiddlerspiel”
When a parishioner volunteers to donate $10,000 to the sisters’ school if they will perform in a club in Las Vegas, Mother Superior is hesitant to accept. However, after being convinced by the other sisters that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” Reverend Mother agrees. What follows is the most feather-filled, sequin-studded, fan dancing Nunsense show ever! Performing in “The Pump Room” at the Mystique Motor Lodge, the sisters experience “show-biz” like never before.
- Sister Hubert and Reverend Mother’s “Sin City Souvenirs”
- Sister Amnesia’s Holy Rollers Giant Slot Machine
- “What’s Black and White with Her Money on Red?”
The Little Sisters of Hoboken have headed to Tinseltown, thrilled at the prospect of performing at the Hollywood Bowl. Unfortunately, they’ve been booked into the Hollywood Bowl-A-Rama and Cabaret Lounge. They manage to plow through their act, despite interruptions from the Bowling Alley’s public address system. Midway through the first act, they hear that a big-time producer is across the street auditioning for roles in his new movie musical about Dolores Hart, the famous movie star-turned-nun. Thinking they’re naturals for parts, the sisters race off to audition during their own show’s intermission.
- Sister Leo and Sister Amnesia’s Movie Trivia Quiz
- “The Bowling Ball Blues”
- Sister Hubert’s Game Show, “The Price Is Righteous!”
In this one-nun show, Sister Robert Anne teaches the audience how to put together their own cabaret act. Singing her greatest hits from the other seven NUNSENSE shows, Sister Robert Anne (who over the past 25 years has become a star in her own right) commands the stage like no other nun, and keeps the audience enthralled for the entire evening. This is one class you won’t want to skip!
- “I Just Want To Be A Star”
- Doo-wop audience participation on “What Would Elvis Do?”
- Robert Anne’s duet with her puppet, Sister Mary Annette (star of stage, screen, and cable access)
No matter what your calling, there is a NUNSENSE musical for you! So get in the habit of performing NUNSENSE shows… and have a blessed Nunsense Day!!