Sally Struthers portrays Mother Superior in the 25th anniversary tour of 'Nunsense' at the Craterian. - Photo courtesy of Craterian Productions

'Nunsense' with Sally Struthers

Twenty-five years ago, writer and director Dan Goggin's quirky musical "Nunsense" opened off-Broadway. The show became the second-longest running show in off-Broadway history after "The Fantasticks." An international hit, "Nunsense" has been translated into 26 languages with more than 6,000 productions worldwide. It has spawned five sequels.

Craterian Performances will present the 25th Anniversary Tour of "Nunsense," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, Medford. This special national tour of "Nunsense" stars two-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Sally Struthers as Mother Superior.

The show begins as five of the 19 surviving Little Sisters of Hoboken, a one-time missionary order that ran a leper colony on an island south of France, discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally poisoned the other fifty-two residents of the convent.

Learning of the horrible news, Mother Superior has a vision in which she is told to start a greeting card company to raise funds for the burials. Sales of the greeting cards were successful. Mistakenly believing the cards had raised more than enough money, Mother Superior bought a VCR for the convent. That left no money to pay for the last four burials.

With the deceased nuns on ice in the convent's deep freeze, the remaining sisters decide that the best way to raise the additional funds is to put on a variety show in the Mount Saint Helen's School auditorium. The entertainment that they present includes solo star turns, madcap dance routines, and an audience quiz.

The characters in "Nunsense" who put on the show include Reverend Mother Regina, a former circus performer; Sister Mary Hubert, the Mistress of Novices; a streetwise nun named Sister Robert Anne; Sister Mary Leo, a novice who is a wannabe ballerina; and the delightfully wacky Sister Mary Amnesia, the nun who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head.

Struthers performed in the television series "All in the Family." She starred in the Fox television series "9 to 5" and her own CBS series "Gloria." Her recurring roles include the CBS comedy, "Still Standing," and the CW's "Gilmore Girls." Struthers co-starred in two movies in the '70s: "Five Easy Pieces" with Jack Nicholson and "The Getaway" with Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw.

Writer/director Dan Goggin has written the scores for the Off-Broadway production of "Hark!" and the Broadway production of "Legend." He received an Outer Critics' Circle Awards for "Nunsense" for best musical, best book, and best music. His musical "Balancing Act" has been presented in the U.S., London, and Australia.

Tickets are $34-$53. See craterian.org or call 779-3000.

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