‘Nunset Boulevard’ is sinfully hilarious
Jeanette Boehme, The Orange Leader
ORANGE — Whether you see it as heavenly fun or sinfully funny, Orange Community Players have a ‘must see’ production in “Nunset Boulevard.”
The veteran director, Jeff Hattman, has assembled a first rate cast that delivers a first rate performance. Hattman always puts together a well organized and thought out production. Everything she directs is masterfully and professionally done and has “hit” written all over it. Hats off to her.
The plot revolves around the nuns going to Hollywood thinking they are going to perform in the Hollywood Bowl. Instead, they end up at the Hollywood Bowl-A-Rama Bowling Alley and Cabaret Lounge. They also hear that a movie is to be made across the street about the life of Dolores Hart, an actress who became a nun. They decide to try out for a part in the movie. No spoiler here. You’ll have to come see the play to see what happens.
Heading the group of five nuns from Hoboken is the Reverend Mother, played to perfection by Susan Tiger. Tiger lives in Montana now and traveled to Orange six weeks ago in order to reprise her role in yet another “Nunsense” play. Dan Goggin has written a series of seven plays about the nuns and says “Nunset Boulevard” may be his last. Tiger is right-on with her Irish accent and her strong singing and acting talent. She can belt out a song with the best. Her joke about the horse that responded to “Hallelujah” and “Amen” brought down the house. Accolades go to her!
Donna Rogers plays Sister Hubert with gusto and her singing chops are in great form. Her impersonation of Elvis is hilarious. Rogers has been in many fine performances in Orange and she is outstanding in this role. Her solo, “The Silver Screen”, was a standout song performance. Kudos to her!
In the role of Sister Amnesia, Janet Bland is terrific. She plays the fluff-headed nun with just the right touch. Her trio with Brook Doss and Donna Rogers as the Saint Andrews Sisters is a show stopper. Their harmony is excellent! Bland’s countrified rendition of “The Bowling Ball Blues” is charming and the audience loves her zany performance throughout. Kudos to her also.
As tough talking Sister Robert Anne, Brook Doss demonstrates that the apple does not fall far from the tree. She is the daughter of Susan Tiger and an excellent director, actress, and songbird in her own right. Doss always gives a fine performance with great energy and verve. Her expertise, experience, and polish shine all the way through. Bravo Brook!
Last, but not least, this leaves Jamia Harris who portrays Sister Mary Leo. Harris is a newcomer to OCP and shows promise for what is hoped to be other performances in the future. She dances and sings her way beautifully through the show. The credits in the program list Harris in almost every aspect of the production. This “new girl” is a worker and a keeper.
A supporting role is performed adequately by John Hall, the veteran OCP actor, and Bre Norton is a puppeteer.
Musical highlights include “The Hollywood Blondes” which is performed by the whole cast dressed as famous blond actresses. Also memorable is a poignant song by Tiger, “There Was a Time.”
This reviewer always looks for something to be critical of, but alas, there isn’t much to criticize here. While some segments flow smoother and some are funnier than others, the audience doesn’t mind a bit. It is willing to be swept right along, buoyed by the enthusiasm and energy of the cast.
The show will leave you laughing all the way to your car. The audience participation gags add to the enjoyment and are handled well. The casting is superb and the tunes are catchy and fun. Even the costumes are inventive and clever. Well done, OCP!
The play may be seen at 7:37 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and concludes with a matinee at 2:37 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are $8-$15. Reservations can be made by calling OCP at 409-882-9137.