Musical/comedy Nunsense is on stage at Coast Capital Theatre until July 23.

Musical/comedy Nunsense is on stage at Coast Capital Theatre until July 23.

Talent, humour and lots of fun

If you’re in the market for a thoroughly enjoyable evening of live musical theatre, run – don’t walk – to the Coast Capital Playhouse and catch Nunsense before it closes July 23.

This five-woman powerhouse of a show has it all – showstopping performances, fabulous singing and great ensemble work – in the format of a fictional fundraiser for a little-known order of Catholic nuns.

It’s a premise as preposterous as its burger-joint stage set, which, as the Mother Superior explains, is left over from a Grade 8 production of  Grease; or the tainted vichysoisse incident which has left all but 19 of the Little Sisters of South Surrey dead from botulism.

While the order has been able to bury most of their dead, there are still four in the freezer awaiting burial – hence the need for five nuns, frustrated performers all,  to “put on a show” to raise the necessary cash.

Dan Goggin’s witty book and lyrics and serviceable music have made the show a frequently-revived cult classic, and judging by this version, it’s not hard to see why.

It’s all irreverent, ridiculous and tremendous fun, as staged by Ryan Mooney, and performed with incredible energy by Janet Glassford, Celia Reid, Keri Smith, Nicole Stevens and Cathy Wilmot, with excellent support from musical director Vashti Fairbairn’s trio.

Mooney’s Vancouver-based Fighting Chance Productions seems to redefine community theatre with every show it attempts – by the simple expedient of setting the bar ever higher and not accepting that ‘amateur’ has to mean second-rate. And the White Rock Players are indeed fortunate to find themselves co-presenters of  such a superior production this summer.

This is a show that is professional in every aspect – with the possible exception of the remuneration structure. Mooney’s direction doesn’t appear to miss a trick in maximizing entertainment value, and there are no weak links to be found in his superb cast of triple-threat players, several of whom are well-known to local audiences from Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society shows.

Glassford, as Mother Superior Mary Regina, has a wonderfully droll manner, a fine disapproving look through her metal-rimmed spectacles, and a priceless scene in which she samples an illicit substance, to somewhat alarming effect.

Reid, as Sister Mary Leo, a would-be ballerina, contributes a splendidly wacky sensibility to everything she does, particularly her hilarious send-ups of  traditional ballet choreography.

Smith, as the aptly named Sister Mary Amnesia, has a spacey quality in the role that is utterly endearing – but shouldn’t take away from appreciation of her underlying vocal versatility.

South Surrey’s Stevens, as tough, streetwise Sister Mary Robert Anne, has many effective moments of broad comedy, but also demonstrates that she can make the most of quietly touching scenes and put over numbers with a punch.

Wilmot, as ambitious Sister Mary Hubert, is a born show-stopper, and spot-on in delivery and timing throughout the show, culminating in her driving lead of the show’s rousing gospel-style finale, in which she manages to nail every cliché of the idiom’s requisite vocal gymnastics.

Nunsense runs Wednesday to Saturday (8 p.m. performances, 2 p.m. Saturday matinee). Tickets: www.whiterockplayers.com or 604-536-7535.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock Rotary Club president Mauricio Browne de Paula (front right) with other club and community volunteers at the launch of the free hot lunch program at the city parking lot at Russell Avenue and Johnston Road on May 21. (File photo)
Daily demand for White Rock Rotary, city lunch program surpasses 40

Recipients ‘are very good people… going through some tough times’

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

Students at Creekside Elementary in Surrey wrote letters to seniors over the holidays, and are planning to write more for Valentine’s Day and Family Day. (Photo: surreyschools.ca)
Surrey elementary students connect with seniors through letter writing

Creekside students planning to send more cards for Valentine’s Day

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Police called to Surrey home for report of weapon, man taken into custody

Surrey RCMP say people evacuated from house, one found in a bedroom ‘hiding from police’

Judy and Ken Reid share a smile at Peace Arch Hospital in 2018. Judy raised concerns last month about how the COVID-19 vaccine would be rolled out. Now, she says no one is telling residents or families when they will start to see restrictions ease. (Contributed photo)
Timeline for reduced restrictions in long-term care a concern for spouse of South Surrey senior

‘We’re not yet at that point,’ says provincial health officer

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Most Read