Nuncrackers – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

The good nuns at Mount Saint Helen’s School in Hoboken, New Jersey are always busy, but never more so than at Christmas, especially when they are preparing for their first television special and you are invited to be front and center for the telecast. Courtesy of Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, the convent school will present “Nuncrackers” by Dan Goggin to get you into the holiday spirit by raising a little musical mischief. Hurry because all the hoopla and singing and dancing end on Sunday, December 17.

Come meet and encourage Reverend Mother, a jolly and joyous Michelle Gotay, and her dedicated helper elves Sister Mary Hubert (Cat Heidel), Sister Amnesia (Marcia Masio), Sister Robert Anne (Cathy Wilcox-Sturmer), and Father Virgil (Tom Chute). Even Santa (Tim Cleary) gets into the act. A bevy of bountiful boys and girls bring their special brand of joy to the stage to help the merriment: Grace Altenburger, Angelina Emanuel, Ian Kindt, Zoe Kindt, Julia Mehlin, Michael Meier, Zachary Petrarca, Gabrielle Saucier, Julia Thies and Nicole Thomas.

Who says nuns can’t have fun? This troupe is heaven bent on making the holidays memorable, even if all of their gifts were stolen right from under their Christmas tree. So what if one of their own had an accident and was sent off to the hospital. What does it matter if there are continual technical difficulties. The show must go on and it definitely does, with highlights like a solo by Sister Mary Annette (think marionette) of “Twelve Days Prior to Christmas,” a troupe rendition of “Santa’s Little Teapot,” a lesson in how not to bake a fruitcake by Father Virgil, a lovely version of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas” by Allison (Grace Altenburger), and an inspired tribute to the YMCA guys with “In the Convent,” among others.

You will learn the mysteries of the Catholic Home Shopping Network, see a unique version of the Sugar Plum Fairy you will not soon forget (even if you try to), dig a little deeper into the meaning of Christmas with Sister Robert Anne and even go a bit country western. James Donohue and Semina DeLaurentis direct this festive and fun foray for maximum enjoyment.

For tickets ($39 adults, kids $20), call the Seven Angels Theatre, 1 Plank Road, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., with a special Thursday night show on December 14 at 7:30 p.m. For an enthusiastic and energetic, holy and angelic welcome to the holiday season, look no further than the Little Sisters of Hoboken’s jolly celebration of Christmas.