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Idol Chatter

nunsense.jpgWho doesn’t love nuns at the theater? I remember when as a kid, my mother took me to see “Do Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?”, a comedic play (originally a book) about girls at Catholic school beginning to their sexuality who are contending with caricature nuns desperately trying to keep them pure and innocent. Then a few years ago there were serious nuns on stage for the wonderful “Doubt” (and on the big screen eventually as well.)
Nun characters are endlessly entertaining. I think I prefer the funny variety though, which is why I was pleased to see the front page arts section article in today’s New York Times about funny, theater nuns, “To Stage a Spoof Is Human. To Run and Run? Divine,” about a revival of the musical Nunsense at the same off-broadway theater that originally staged it. The article made me want to go. I mean, who doesn’t love nuns who sing? And apparently, since this production first went up in 1985, it’s spawned a veritable industry of nun-centered entertainment:
“From a $150,000 investment “Nunsense” and its six sequels have now been produced worldwide about 8,000 times, grossed more than $500 million and spawned nun-inspired mugs, T-shirts and cookbooks, as well as DVDs, cast recordings and television specials. There’s been “Nunsense II: The Second Coming” and “Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical,” but the formula has gotten even more elastic, making room for the spinoffs “Nonsense, A-Men,” an all-male revue, and “Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class,” in which the title character shares tips on making you a cabaret star. From “The Flying Nun” to “Sister Act,” women in habits have long been lively pop culture fodder. Besides making audiences laugh, however, “Nunsense” has proved to be a boon for small and summer-stock theaters nationwide, which have relied on this old reliable to put audiences in the seats during precarious economic times.”
I’ve relied on some wonderful nuns in my day to make it through difficulties so I love that local theaters are relying on nuns to get audiences in seats and make it through tough times–that sounds awfully fitting doesn’t it? Nuns are just so reliable. And I think I might just have to cough up the money and go to the revival myself.

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