The Woodstock Musical Theatre Company is going out with a laugh.
Opening March 29 at the Woodstock Opera House, “Nunsense” is the group’s last official production before joining forces with TownSquare Players. The two longtime community groups are expected to officially become Theatre 121 this summer. The “121” refers to the number in the address of the Opera House, where Theatre 121 will serve as the sole resident company. The idea was to alternate larger and smaller productions this final season at the Opera House, said Kathie Comella, Woodstock Musical Theatre Company president. So, as TownSquare Players finishes up “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – The Musical” with final performances March 15-17 and 21-23 at the Opera House, the Woodstock Musical Theatre Company is preparing to bring the misadventures of five nuns to the stage.
“It’s just a silly fun time,” said Elaine Cashmore of Round Lake Heights, who plays street-wise Sister Robert Anne in the production. “People should come really to laugh and listen to some good music.”
Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays March 29-31 and April 5-7 and 12-14 at the Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock. Tickets range in cost from $18 to $25 for adults and $16 to $23 for students and seniors at www.woodstockoperahouse.com or 815-338-5300.
“Nunsense” tells the story of a group of nuns trying to manage a fundraiser. The rest of the sisterhood died from botulism after eating vichyssoise prepared by Sister Julia. The remaining nuns stage a talent show to raise money to bury the dearly departed.
Along with Cashmore, the cast includes Pamela Jones of Elk Horn, Wisconsin, as Reverend Mother, Kristin Lundine of Crystal Lake as Sister Mary Hubert, Emily Robles of Cary as Sister Mary Amnesia and Angelina Straus of Harvard as Sister Mary Leo.
With their talent and the clever script, the show is bound to entertain, Comella said. Woodstock Musical Theatre Company first performed “Nunsense” in the 1980s and has done various version of the play throughout the years, she said, but the group decided to go with the fresh, original script for this last production.
Among the directors are Barry Norton as artistic director; Rosemarie Aiello as vocal and orchestra director; and Karen Smith as choreographer.
Each nun is a character role, with the cast bringing out new sides to the characters, Straus said. The first show she ever performed at the Opera House was with the Woodstock Musical Theatre Company.
“[The company] has kind of a special place in my heart,” she said. “I only see great things coming for us. … I can’t wait for everyone to come and see all the hard work we’ve put in.”
Performing for the first time at the Opera House, Jones said she simply feels blessed to be part of it. She’s grown to love both the Opera House and her fellow castmates, who’ve formed a bond bound to bring people together, she said.
“There’s something about walking on that stage and you can see the history and everything that’s surrounding you,” she said.
For Lundine, “Nunsense” offers the chance to venture out of the pit orchestra, where she’s often found playing the trombone or piano during Opera House productions. It’s been about 13 years since she’s performed on stage.
“It’s hilarious, really goofy,” she said of “Nunsense.” “I think people will be pleasantly surprised when they hear how much fun the show is.”
Robles first saw “Nunsense” as a child with her Nana, who died last year, and has been a fan ever since. The production has brought back fond memories, said Robles, who currently is performing as The Wardrobe in TownSquare Players’ “Beauty and the Beast.”
“It’s really cool to kind of be part of the legacy of both [community theater groups],” she said.