‘Nuncrackers’ brings holiday smiles to Leawood


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In a time when everyone scrambles to find extra money, the priest and nuns in the Mount Saint Helen’s Convent also need money to support their parish and the work they do, so, a televised presentation might resolve their money issues.

“Nuncrackers” made a quick four-show production about the humble nuns and their parish priest who devise their first-ever TV special for a local cable access channel. The new studio results from a portion of prize money won in the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Give-Away and the generosity of Sister Mary Paul (Amnesia) who actually won the prize.

The convert consists of Reverend Mother Regina (Kathy Murphy), Sister Mary Hubert (Sharon Johnson), Sister Robert Anne (Alecia Stultz), Sister Mary Paul (a.k.a. Amnesia) (Tracy Pratt), Sister Mary Leo/Sister Sybil/Sister Mary Annette (Kate Wiese) and Father Virgil Manly Trott (Sister Leo’s brother) (Bill Bergman). In addition two boys and two girls, Mount Saint Helen’s students, help the nuns with the show. Ellionna Cashman as Lily, Drake Cashman as John, Adelyn Cellio as Maria , Christian Harris as Billy, Emma Smith as Louise.

The show’s annual Christmas pageant plans a new original ballet based on “The Nutcracker.” However, even with the best plans, surprises bring the laughter and jokes to the forefront.

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The show allows each of the sisters to share a comedic skit and sometimes audience participation. The show draws heavily on audience participation to endear the nuns and their causes in this comedy.

The big problem (one of several) is that The Sugar Plum Fairy was injured and must be replaced minutes before the show begins. The Christmas presents have been stolen and the police are on the way to take the crime report. Father Virgil needs to step in for the sister who is at the police station and explain how to make fruit cake. But, the problem with that is the Rev. Father enjoys the brandy too much as he’s cooking.

The show is filled with silly songs and simple dances that allows the younger cast to have some fun among the grownups. Act II moves faster than Act I and by the end, all is resolved, the presents were not stolen, and each nun has

The band is: Jim Vinkenberg, conductor; Debbie Goddard, piano; Shari Kinder, keyboard; Emily Gooden, violin; Tim Schwab, percussion.

The Production Crew is: Pamela Klifar, director; Jim Vinkenberg, music director; Pam Lawson, stage manager; Debbie Goddard, rehearsal accompanist; Pamela Klifar, Little Sisters of Hoboken, choreography; Philip Leonard, set and light design; Kyle Wood, sound; Roberta Wilkes, Patty Freeman, substitute rehearsal accompanists; Clarice Cashman, stage crew.

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For a small community theatre group, Leawood Stage Company selects productions and musicals that entertain their constituents. The restraints of Ironwood Lodge does not allow for wing space or changing sets, limiting the show selections. Still, Leawood Stage attracts strong talent and great voices. “Nuncrackers” continues that tradition. The voices were strong and the performances funny.

“Nuncrackers” provides family fun to kick off the holiday season. The family-friendly nun-series refrains from using foul language or sexual content. It’s pure Catholic fun. Brush up on Catechisms and watch for the next production of the “Nunsense” series.

Tags: “Nuncrackers” review, Leawood Stage Company, Ironwood Lodge, Kansas City Theatre, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment


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