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Cast sparkles in The Nuncrackers' at MLT

By By Carolyn M. Fuchek-Abdella/Special to The Star
Dec. 9, 2001
There was a lot of "nunsense" going on at the Meridian Little Theatre last Thursday evening. What was it, you ask? Well, once again, the MLT and its dedicated staff presented another delightful performance to the Meridian community at its first-nighters club.
Guest directed by Carla Warner, "The Nuncrackers" is a comical Christmas musical and a must-see for all this holiday season. Ms. Warner, treasurer of the MLT Guild Board, did an outstanding job in the direction of this "nuntastic" comedy hit.
The scene takes place in Hoboken, N.J., where four nuns and a priest put on a televised Christmas show. Their song and dance routines and zany personalities are most enjoyable throughout the performance.
Sidney Covington, in her role as Sister Amnesia, was exceptionally entertaining to watch. As her names implies, Sister Amnesia has the hardest time teaching her choir students the words to the most popular Christmas carols.
For example, "shepherds'' becomes "leopards" and "ivy" becomes "ivory" and so on. Sidney was also hilariously funny in a short segment called "Secret Santa." At the beginning of the performance, Sidney passed out buttons to various audience members that read: "I spent the night with the Sisters of Hoboken and all I got was this lousy button."
I was a recipient of one such button. And I, as well as the other button-recipients, received a small gift from "Secret Santa" and a few funny wisecracks on the side. My gift was a two-inch "Golden Ruler" (Remember: this is Sister Amnesia we're talking about) and a small wisecrack about my apparel … something about wearing a Baptist brassiere, but I won't go into detail on that subject, thank you very much!
The rest of the cast members also presented a delightful performance. Jennifer Colburn was bright and energetic in her role as the tough and brawny Sister Robert Anne from Brooklyn (by the way, she did a great New York accent). Her most impressive musical numbers included "Jesus was Born in Brooklyn," "The Three Kings,' and "A Christmas Carol."
Zena Limerick, who played the role of Father Virgil, was most comical and entertaining in the non-musical segment titled "Calvacade of Christmas Cooking." In this segment, he is filling in for Sister Julia, the regularly scheduled hostess of the cooking show. Sister Julia, however, has injured herself and is unable to appear. So, at the request of Mother Superior, played by the talented Jackie Banes, Father Virgil must wear a habit and assume the role of Sister Julia. He is not happy about this, not happy at all, but soon he discovers the pleasures of cooking with rum.
And, well, you can pretty much guess what happens next.
Banes, as Mother Superior, takes the spotlight in the musical number titled "A Carnival Christmas" as well as the non-musical scene "A Catholic Home Shopping Service." She is hilarious in this segment as she and Father Virgil are trying to sell such products as "Confession: The Body Wash That Cleanses the Soul" and intimate apparel by "Saint Victoria's Secret."
Finally, Sister Hubert, played by regular MLT performer Karon Leach, sums up the moral of the
story by saying that it is "better to give than to receive." Karon has a lovely voice, so it is not
surprising to know that she has appeared as Mrs. Greer in the most recent MLT production of "Annie" and as Mrs. Pierce in "My Fair Lady."
The school children were played by Lindsey Summerlin (Louise), Daniel May (Billy), Chris Williams (John), Bethany Dearman (Maria), Maggie Freyaldenhoven (Ruth), Matt Crane (Timothy) and Ryan Jimenez (James). These children, ranging from grades 3 through 6 did a superb job on stage. They were simply a delight to watch.
Special acknowledgements go to Marshall Florist for the flowers in the Greenroom and Foyer, McRae's Department Store for the wrapped Christmas boxes in the Foyer, and the Guild Christmas Decoration Committee for the beautiful display of Christmas decorations.