Clockwise from bottom left: Suzanne Seiber, Laura Derocher, Alexandra D. Blouin, Kymberli Colbourne and Ellie Holt-Murray are the Little Sisters of Hoboken. - Photo courtesy of Christopher Briscoe

'Nunsensations' at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre

Those singin', dancin' nuns, the Little Sisters of Hoboken, are back. "Nunsensations: The Nunsense Las Vegas Revue" is writer, composer and lyricist Dan Goggin's newest musical about a sorority of nuns with pasts in show business who find reasons to keep performing.

When a parishioner offers $10,000 to the convent's school if the sisters perform in Las Vegas, Reverend Mother is not convinced this is a wise endeavor, but the nuns assure her that "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

"Nunsense" will preview Wednesday and Thursday, June 5-6, open Friday, June 7, and run through Aug. 25 at Oregon Cabaret Theatre, First and Hargadine streets, Ashland. Curtain is at 8 p.m.; 1 p.m. for Sunday matinees.

Tickets cost $19 for previews, $34 for weeknights, $38 for Friday and Saturday evenings, $29 for Sunday evenings and $33 for Sunday matinees. Bistro seating costs $20 and is available on the main floor and the balcony at all shows.

Dinner is available at 6:30 p.m. for evening performances and brunch at 11:30 a.m. for Sunday matinees. Reservations are required. Appetizers, beverages and desserts are available during intermission at all performances. Call 541-488-2902 or see www.oregoncabaret.com for tickets and reservations.

Soon, the nuns are strutting their stuff and belting out lyrics onstage at "The Pump Room" of the Mystique Motor Lodge with sequins and feathers, a bit of razz-ma-tazz and a lot of wacky humor — all the while still garbed in their traditional habits.

"I was struck by the warmth and fun in this show," says director Melissa Rain Anderson. "These women are so different, but they are also a sisterhood, always supportive of one another."

The feeling of sisterhood on stage is reinforced by the fact that the actors are all local — or veterans of Cabaret Theatre.

Reverend Mother Sister Mary Regina is played by Ellie Holt-Murray, a classically trained opera performer teaching voice at Southern Oregon University's Department of Performing Arts.

"Artistic Director Jim Giancarlo remembered me and thought I would be a good fit for this show," Holt-Murray says.

Kymberli Colbourne plays Sister Robert Anne, the rough-edged nun from Brooklyn who can belt out a mean tune. Cabaret regular and SOU faculty member Suzanne Seiber is Sister Mary Leo, the dancing nun.

"Sister Mary Leo loves to dance, and when she became a nun, she dedicated her dance to the Lord," Seiber says. "She can't understand why the Reverend Mother insists that she dance in her habit."

Alexandra Blouin is Sister Mary Hubert, the juggling nun. Blouin, now based in Seattle, trained at the Dell'Arte School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, Calif., and is an accomplished circus performer and clown.

Making her debut at the Cabaret is local performer and voice teacher Laura Derocher. She plays Sister Mary Amnesia, aka Sister Mary Paul, the country-western nun with the wicked puppet alter ego, Sister Mary Annette.

"This cast works together really well," Holt-Murray says. "Even though we are all so different, there was an instant chemistry between us. Our voices are great together."

Anderson, along with Giancarlo and Seiber, did the choreography. Meagan Iverson is musical director. A properly glitzy Las Vegas set and lighting design are by Craig Hudson.

Patrons may arrive 45 minutes before curtain to play bingo for prizes. Other Las Vegas-style gambling will be played during the show.

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