If you ask me…

- Tom Holehan



The nuns are on the run again.  Dan Goggin’s cottage industry of “Nunsense” musicals has yet another addition to the convent with “Nunset Boulevard”, the eighth in the series – if you’re keeping track.  It’s currently on stage at Bridgeport’s Downtown Cabaret Theatre.

Subtitled “The Nunsense Hollywood Bowl Show,” this edition of the wildly popular musical series finds our five cheerful sisters in California thinking they’ve accepted an invitation to perform at the Hollywood Bowl.  Come to find out, it’s the Hollywood Bowl-A-Rama, a bowling alley – but not to worry!  Our nuns are nothing if not resourceful.  They will still put on their variety show while taking time to attend auditions for a new movie that just happens to be taking place across the street.  That’s about it for plot because the “Nunsense” stories have never relied very heavily on storyline – a fact that the author, himself, comically notes with “The Plot,” one of the early songs in the show.

Clinging strongly to the adage of “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it,” Goggin sets his merry quintet on a spoof of Hollywood film lore complete with tuneful songs, modest choreography and audience participation.  Some of the punch lines sink like rocks and much of the music recalls earlier, better editions of the series.  But the game cast - who include Lisa Asher, Laurie Birmingham, Bambi Jones, Jeanne Tinker and Stephanie Wahl – are more than up to the challenge.  While there is nothing particularly new or revelatory in the proceedings - you pretty much know what to expect going in - in most cases, the show delivers.  “Nunset Boulevard” is a harmless confection.  It’s musical comfort food.  What next Mr. Goggin?  “Nunsense in Space”?

 “Nunset Boulevard” continues at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre through April 17.  For further information or ticket reservations call the theatre box office at: 203.576.1636 or visit: www.downtowncabaret.org. 

Tom Holehan is Co-chairman of the Connecticut Critics Circle and Artistic Director of Stratford’s Square One Theatre Company.  He welcomes comments at: tholehan@yahoo.com.  His reviews and other theatre information can be found on the Connecticut Critics Circle website: www.ctcritics.org.


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