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‘Nunsense’ is spirited good time

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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Catholicism isn’t usually associated with humor, but with “Nunsense,” comedy takes top billing. Featuring five nuns trying to raise money to bury some of their order, the musical takes turns both poignant and absurd. The show is expertly directed by Ryan Adame and choreographed by Nick Adorno. To set the stage, four of the five nun characters are named Mary. The understudy, outspoken Sister Robert Anne, is the lone exception. The cook accidentally killed 52 of the nuns with a toxic dinner. The surviving nuns, who were spared thanks to a bingo game, had enough money to bury 48 and stuffed the rest in the freezer. Now they are trying to raise money to bury the last four by performing a show in the school gymnasium. This is an audience participation show with the nuns offering light banter between acts and prior to the start of the show. Jessica Larrick, a Folsom High grad, is aspiring ballerina Sister Mary Leo. The show marks her return to the Sutter Street Theatre stage. Larrick is a graduate of UC Irvine Claire Trevor School of the Art. Connie Mockenhaupt is Reverend Mother Mary Regina. Mockenhaupt, a former El Dorado Hills resident who now calls Folsom home, has many bright moments on stage as the cantankerous Regina. Monica Wright, as Sister Mary Amnesia, makes a splash in her first Sutter Street Theatre performance. As her name implies, the wide-eyed character doesn’t remember her real name or anything about her life before the play starts. My kids — 12-year-old son Cian and 11-year-old daughter Parker — thought she was a riot, especially when she pulled out the puppet, dubbed Sister Marionette. Standouts include Christi Axelson, who plays Sister Robert Anne, and Madelyn Wright as Sister Mary Hubert. Axelson’s performance is fun and full of spunk, while her rendition of “Growing Up Catholic” is touching, even if you aren’t Catholic. Her spitfire attitude and spot-on accent add depth to the character. Madelyn Wright, who is Monica’s sibling, shines as the ambitious second-in-command. She belts out some great tunes, really showcasing her vocal strength. I highly recommend this show, regardless of your religious views. * * * KNOW AND GO What: ‘Nunsense’ When: 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday through May 1 Where: Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter St., Folsom Cost: $23 for general, $21 for seniors and SARTA, $15 for children 12 and under Info: (916) 353-1001 Rating: 5 (out of 5 stars) * * * THE CAST Christi Axelson Jessica Larrick Connie Mockenhaupt Madelyn Wright Monica Wright