Cornerstone puts on 'Nunsense' Dancing, singing sisters take the stage

| 17 Feb 2012 | 01:08

    SUSSEX —Cornerstone Playhouse's latest production “Nunsense" opens on Friday, Feb. 24 and runs for two weekends. This madcap musical comedy directed by Sparta resident Tom Hallett is nonstop entertainment that can be enjoyed by the whole family. The cast is made up of six talented women from Northwest New Jersey. Leading the band of nuns is Newton resident Debbie Nannery as the Mother Superior (who was a former circus performer). She is joined by four other nuns and the nun stage manager. Jennifer Kitchin, Laura Franc, Claire McDonald, Elizabeth O’Brien and Mary Leo and Natasha Goldberg Kitchin, of Sparta, has been seen most recently in Cornerstone’s “Annie” as Miss Hannigan. In "Nunsense" she plays the streetwise Sister Robert Anne and brings her tap dancing chops to the company's “Tackle the Temptation.” Laura Franc, another Sparta resident, who performed the mother in Cornerstone’s 2011 production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” plays Sr. Mary Amnesia who can’t remember who, what, where or how. A striking contrast to Amahl’s mother, Amnesia talks quite often through a puppet and will bring the house down with her country twist “I Could Have Gone to Nashville.” Cornerstone newcomer Elizabeth O’Brien, also from Sparta, plays Sister Mary Leo, who wants to be the first nun ballerina. She sings and dances on point in “Benedicite” and then does a spoof called “The Dying Nun Ballet.” Claire McDonald of Hopatcong plays the second in command, Sister Mary Hubert, who lead everyone in “Holier than Thou” and “The Biggest Ain’t The Best.” She played the widow Corney in Cornerstone's “Oliver” and Ouiser in “Steel Magnolias.” Sister Mary Stage Manager is played by Hamburg resident Natasha Goldberg, who is also making her Cornerstone debut. The premise of the show is that five of the 19 surviving Little Sisters of Hoboken, a one-time missionary order that ran a leper colony on an island south of France, discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally killed the other 52 residents of the convent with her tainted vichyssoise while the five were off playing bingo with a group of Maryknolls. Upon discovering the disaster, Mother Superior had a vision in which she was told to start a greeting card company to raise funds for the burials. The greeting cards were an enormous success and, thinking there was plenty of money, the Reverend Mother bought a new entertainment system for the convent, leaving her with no money to pay for the last four burials. With the deceased nuns on ice in the deep freeze, they decide to stage a variety show in the Mount Saint Helen's School auditorium to raise the necessary amount. The entertainment that they present includes solo star turns, madcap dance routines and an audience quiz. So audience members should be prepared to participate.