The Little Sisters of Hoboken say that “nunsense is habit-forming,” but you can find out for yourself this weekend. Lakeland High School’s resident drama club, Wig ‘n’ Whiskers, is producing Dan Goggin’s musical, “Nunsense,” as their fall musical on Nov. 15 and 16.
“Nunsense” follows the Little Sisters of Hoboken as they recover from the accidental poisoning of 52 of the sisters, done by none other than their cook, Sister Julia. The remaining sisters decide to take over the school auditorium and stage a variety show to raise funds for the burials. Featuring wonderful dance numbers, an audience quiz and comic surprises, “Nunsense” is sure to please every audience.
Wig ‘n’ Whiskers saw a great amount of energy from their production of “Seussical” in the Spring of 2019, and the club wanted to keep that energy coming into their fall production. Director Darrin Grimm was looking for a musical that could maintain the energy of the previous production and keep it moving through the fall, so he looked towards small musicals and ended up selecting “Nunsense.” When looking at the students who came out for the show, Grimm mentioned, “I knew the students would have fun doing the show, and I would have fun directing it.”
The club was also faced with a younger group of students this fall than the club had seen in recent years—with a large group of seniors having graduated in the past two years. Fall productions in most high schools tend to lean on the upper class students since the clubs are never fully sure what talent will turn up in the rising freshman class. This production, however, has more freshman talent than usual, and only one senior in the cast.
Grimm was also tasked with explaining quite of bit about the Catholic Church to the cast, which is ironic—being that he grew up Lutheran in the Midwest. There was also a fair bit of explaining that needed to be done with some of the pop culture references in the show, being that the show was originally written in the mid 80’s before any of the cast were alive.
Although the show revolves around the Catholic faith, there’s no disrespect pointed at the faith—and there’s also no attempt to proselytize to the audience—it just so happens to be that it’s a group of nuns who are telling a story. “It’s fun and entertaining just for the sake of being fun and entertaining - and I can’t think of anything more entertaining than watching a group of nuns tap dance” said Grimm.
Sister Amnesia, the delightfully wacky nun who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head, is played by junior Remi Rivard.
Sister Amnesia is one of the most complex characters of the show, which proves interesting to any actor in the role. Rivard said the most interesting part of the role was “finding the balance between her ditzy-ness and realizing who she is, and becoming more of a person.” This is Rivard’s fifth show with Wig ‘n’ Whiskers, which makes her one of the more senior cast members. When asked about what it was like working with a younger cast, she mentioned how talented they were and that she was “so excited to work them and share the stage with them.” Rivard also mentioned how excited she was to watch the freshman grow as performers.
“Everyone in the show, including the ensemble members, has a special meaning in the show—every part helps the story grow,” Rivard said.
Performances of Nunsense will be held at Lakeland High School, 1349 East Main St, Shrub Oak, on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 16, at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at wignwhiskers.com or at the door the day of the show.