For the fifth time in as many years, the Majestic Theatre will perform a show based on the lovable sisters of Nunsense, making the theater one of the few in the state that has performed multiple chapters of a particular show.
Nunsense Jamboree, which is the third installment of the musicals written by Dan Goggins, will open on Friday, Aug. 12. The plot of this musical was alluded to in the previous two installments, which tell of Sister Mary Amnesia, who, once she regained her memory, dreamed of becoming a country singer. In this performance, Sister Mary Amnesia’s dream is realized as she headlines a new show promoting her debut album, I Could Have Gone to Nashville. The show features original songs like “We Miss You, Patsy Cline” and “Every Day of the Week is a Saturday.”
The musical stars Rebecca Rush as Sister Mary Amnesia. Rush has brought this character to life in other performances and directed the Nunsense Christmas Musical: Nuncrackers, which was performed last December.
“She is really energetic and does her normal excellent job bringing the character to the stage,” said Robert Dionne, director of Nunsense Jamboree and artistic director at the Majestic Theatre.
Dionne said the Majestic has been able to show so many different chapters of Nunsense because the audience really enjoys the shows.
“Attendance drives what we do,” Dionne said.
He said the Majestic also benefited from the fact that it produces an entire season of shows in-house, so it is able to take a risk on a smaller-cast musical production like Nunsense. Other theater companies, which may only do two or three shows a year, might not take the risk because they’d worry about ticket sales. The Majestic, according to Dionne, has a great subscription base, and people have really enjoyed previous performances of Nunsense.
Dionne said these shows are so popular because in the area, especially Manchester, there is a huge Catholic population that can relate to the outrageous situations the nuns find themselves in. Dionne said while the show is timely now, he wonders how it will play 15 to 20 years from now, as everyday interaction with nuns continues to decline.
“The number of nuns is dwindling and a lot of nuns don’t dress in traditional garb, so you wouldn’t know they were nuns,” Dionne said. “As a result, more and more people aren’t seeing nuns on a regular basis.”
Of course, even if that is true, Dionne said the musicals are so much fun there will be always be an audience. He said even people who aren’t religious would enjoy the shows because both the songs and the writing are so comical. He said funny songs sung by nuns are always good for a laugh. And new audience members don’t have to worry: the beginning of Nunsense Jamboree has a brief recap of what happened in the previous shows. Dionne said if you have seen them, your rich background knowledge will only help, but it is not necessary. Lending testament to that is the fact the Majestic hasn’t even presented all the shows in order. While it has previously shown Nunsense I and Nunsense II, it performed the Christmas special and the Nunsense trip to Las Vegas before showing the third in line.
“It is great because all of the shows are similar but they all have their own niche,” Dionne said.
Since the Majestic has put on so many performances, it has an established list of possible cast members, which ensures the high quality of the shows.