By Marlene S. Gaylinn

“Nunset Boulevard – The Nunsense Hollywood Bowl Show,” written and directed by Dan Goggin in 2009, is an additional episode in a series of successful Nunsense musicals making the rounds of regional theatres.  This time, the talented Little Sisters of Hoboken, New Jersey, are misled into thinking they are being booked at the Hollywood Bowl, but find themselves at a Hollywood bowling alley instead.   This mix-up merely provides the theme and an excuse to entertain an audience -- which happens to be at Bridgeport’s Downtown Cabaret.  And, that’s the whole story!  There really isn’t much of a plot – as one of the opening songs, “The Plot,” explains. 

In this packaged production we have the sisters played by Lisa Asher (Sister Robert Anne), Laurie Birmingham (Reverend Mother), Bambi Jones (Sister Mary Hubert), Jeanne Tinker (Sister Mary Paul aka Amnesia) and Stephanie Whal (Sister Mary Leo).   Generally, the same Nunsense format of individual characters that act, sing, dance, perform puppetry, skits, and interact with the audience in amusing contests is employed here. 

The singing is great and every word can be heard.  Bambi Jones stands out for her animated personality.  Highlights of musical numbers include “The Hollywood Blondes” (pokes fun at famous movie stars), “Belts, Ballads and Blues Songs (musical styles) and “Whatever Happened to…?” (A Baby Jane spoof about June Havoc and her sister, stripper Gypsy Rose Lee). A 3-piece band, headed by Leo Carusone, enhances the show’s lively tunes.  Teri Gibson, who also performed on Broadway and at the Goodspeed Opera House, is responsible for the staging and choreography.

If you have seen Goggin’s other Nunsense shows you will certainly know what to expect.   “Nunset Boulevard” is corny but clean family entertainment.  This writer is guessing that by now, the novelty of comic nuns may have worn off considerably – even among real nuns who flocked to the earlier Goggin’s productions.  However, if you’re in the mood for some pure, nonsense entertainment, this is a carefree diversion you can either share with a date or a table full of friends.  Because you can bring your own food and beverages, the Downtown Cabaret is the best place in Connecticut to see professional musicals and have an inexpensive party/celebration. 

Plays Fri.-Sun. through April 17.      Parking is safe and convenient.         Call 203-576-1636

This review appears in “On Connecticut Theatre/April 2011”


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