Valley residents say "Nunsense" is a laugh a minute |

Valley residents say "Nunsense" is a laugh a minute

by Joyce Hollister

Four Valley residents invite their neighbors to “Sister Amnesia’s Country Western Jamboree,” a show that has been described as having no plot but plenty of laughs and “is the kind of naughty entertainment where you can take your most priggish relative.”

The show’s jokes are of the groaner variety, one critic said, and the gags date back to when Jack Benny didn’t lie about his age, but the music is fun and the pace doesn’t flag for a minute.

Cathy Hearn, John Nikakis and Linda Hardy of Gardnerville and Lucille Rao of Minden say that Carson Valley folks should reserve their tickets now – for the past two “Nunsense” musicals offered at the Brewery Arts Center in Carson City were sold out.

Hearn plays Sister Robert Anne, the streetwise tough kid from the Brooklyn. She is loved by the kids she teaches and is the voice of the puppet, Sister Mary Annette.

Rao is Sister Mary Wilhelm, who appears rather severe but turns out to be lots of fun. As a teenager, Sister Mary Wilhelm appeared in a movie with Frankie Avalon.

John Nikakis plays Father Virgil Manly Trott, the first male part in the “Nunsense” series. Father Trott is a Franciscan priest and Sister Mary Leo’s brother. He is an authentic country singer.

Hardy plays Sister Merry Melody, who is the mistress of music and, according to Hardy, for the first time in a “Nunsense” show has a few speaking lines.

The show, Hardy said, “doesn’t have much of a story. It’s just kind of an excuse to get together and sing country music and tell jokes.”

One of the songs is simply all the titles of Patsy Cline’s country songs strung together, she said.

Hardy has been accompanist for the last two “Nunsense” shows at the BAC.

“It’s very funny,” she said, “just watching the people in the audience – they were doubled over with laughter and had tears running down their faces, especially those people who have a Catholic upbringing.”

Rao, who hails from New York and has lived here for two years, has a bachelor’s degree in theater. She said everyone should go to the show “just for the fun of it.”

Hearn, whose husband Rod is a drama teacher at Douglas High School, worked in professional theater for 18 years before coming to Carson Valley from Arizona.

Nikakis, a 22-year Valley resident, did lights for the first two “Nunsense” shows. “So far,” he said of his role, “it’s a lot more fun being on stage.”

He has also appeared in several productions of the Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company, an affiliate of Western Nevada Community College.

This version of “Nunsense,” written by Dan Goggin, also features former Valley resident and Carson High School theatre teacher Karen Chandler as Sister Amnesia, Maizie Harris Jesse as Sister Mary Regina and Tracie Moore as Sister Mary Leo. Liz Mitchell is producer and Carolyn DeMar, director.

Performance dates are Jan. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 at the Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King Ave., Carson City. The show starts at 8 p.m. and there will be no late admissions. Tickets for “Sister Amnesia’s Nunsense Jamboree” are $12 general public and $10 students, seniors, BAC and Proscenium Players Inc. members. Reserve tickets by calling 883-1976.

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