Heights Civic Theatre’s ‘Nuncrackers’ full of energy, one-liners

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Photo by Sue Suchyta

The Dearborn Heights Civic Theatre holds a youth ensemble vocal rehearsal for “Nuncrackers” Thursday. Musical director Paul Abbott (right) gestures as cast members Sarah Jennings (left), Olivia Flores, Rhiannon Flores and Ian Jeannin focus on the vocal score. The show will run for three weekends, Nov. 5 to 20, at the Berwyn Center at 26155 Richardson in Dearborn Heights. The musical comedy is the fourth Nunsense play. For more information visit their Web site at www.dhctstage.org.

By Sue Suchyta
The Dearborn Heights Civic Theatre has begun rehearsals for “Nuncrackers,” the fourth laughter-inspired entry in the entertaining “Nunsense” musical comedy series of shows.

The Dan Goggin musical features high-energy slapstick, musical numbers and its trademark one-liners for three weekends, Nov. 5 to 20 at the Berwyn Center in Dearborn Heights.

Directed by Paul Keifer, with musical direction by Paul Abbott, the show takes place in the basement of the Mount St. Helens Convent as the St. Andrews Sisters of Hoboken tape their first live special in their new cable-access television studio.

The cast includes Martha Robertson as the Reverend Mother, a former circus performer who becomes flustered as she tries to keep the show rolling despite comically unpredictable challenges.

Emily Gedert of Dearborn plays Sister Hubert, the second in command and a gospel singer.

Jody LaGuire of Inkster, last seen as Anna in the group’s production of “The King and I,” plays Sister Robert Anne, a street-smart nun from Brooklyn with a heart of gold.

Amanda McFarlane will perform the role of Sister Mary Paul (Sister Amnesia), a country-western singer who recently recovered her memory but still seems a bit vacant.

Shelby Watts of Wayne will portray Sister Mary Leo, who also provides the voice of Sister Mary Annette, a “brash, foul-mouthed puppet.”

Bill Spurlin of Garden City will play Father Virgil Manly Trott, Sister Leo’s brother and a former singer and radio host.

The youth ensemble will sing and dance its way into the audience’s hearts as the Mount Saint Helen students.

Rhiannon Flores of Dearborn Heights is a fifth-grader at Bedford Elementary School. Her sister Olivia Flores, a second-grader at Bedford, is in the cast as well.

Ian Jeannin of Dearborn, a sixth-grader at Bryant Middle School, is in the cast, as is Sarah Jennings, a sixth-grader at St. Anselm in Dearborn Heights.

Ayngil Esshaki, Hope Lesniak and Victoria Lesniak, who all are home-schooled, also are in the cast.

“Nuncrackers” will be performed Nov. 5 to 20 for three weekends. The Dearborn Heights Civic Theatre is at Berwyn Center, 26155 Richardson in Dearborn Heights. For more information go to www.dhctstage.org.