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Big Foot Acting Company presents ‘Nuncrackers'

A hilarious night at the convent

Donna Lenz Wright/The Week

(Published Dec. 12, 2007, 10:38 a.m.)

Terry Mayer
The Big Foot High School play “Nuncrackers” opens Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.

“We wanted to do a holiday show this year.”

And with that, it was decided.

The Big Foot Acting Company, led by Marie Severing, director of vocal music for the past 22 years, and comprised of performing artists from Big Foot High School, has prepared something different this year: a holiday show.

They’ve chosen “Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical,” a night of light-hearted comedy in content and music. For example, imagine future nuns singing “In the Convent” to the tune of Village People’s “In the Navy;” or a priest doing an imitation of Sister Julia, Child of God.

The company chose “Nuncrackers” because they had such a blast performing “Nunsense” a few years ago, Severing said.

Three BFHS choirs—All that Jazz, the Concert Choir and the A Cappella Choir—will all perform many familiar standards from jazz favorites to classical art songs, conducted by Severing and accompanied by Gail August.

The story is set in the modern-day basement of Mount Saint Helen’s Convent. The local cable television is there taping their annual Christmas show.

The audience is introduced to Sister Mary Leo, who is ready to perform an original ballet based on the “Nutcracker,” with her as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Unfortunately, just before her grand entrance she is hit in the shin by one of the children’s batons.

As everyone knows, the show must go on, and the Reverend Mother does her best to make that happen. Sister Amnesia holds a Secret Santa drawing to fill the time and amusing items are given to audience members whose seat numbers are drawn as everyone joins in singing, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Next, Sister Mary Annette performs “The Twelve Days Prior to Christmas,” followed by the convent students singing, “I’m Santa’s Little Teapot.”

The downslide continues when the Reverend Mother hears that the gifts under the convent Christmas tree have been stolen. She goes to investigate, leaving Father Virgil to entertain the audience.

It’s time for Sister Julia, Child of God’s big number, but she’s nowhere to be found. So Father Virgil is forced to impersonate her and do his best to make her favorite Christmas recipes.

However, there seems to be an abundance of rum in the recipe, leaving Father Virgil quite soused.

Both the Reverend Mother and Father Virgil come up with the same idea to save the ballet scene, and both appear simultaneously on stage in tutus as the Sugar Plum Fairy. The scene quickly deteriorates into dueling fairies in a hilarious ballet spoof.

Terry Mayer
Ann Rasmussen, left, and Mike Palcic, right, practice a scene for the play “Nuncrackers.”

And that’s just Act One.

The evening bumbles along on stage as the sisters try to figure out where the presents went backstage. Favorite holiday carols—and spoofs of them—punctuate the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth.

The humor that has made “Nunsense” so popular is alive and well in “Nuncrackers,” including laughs for the adults and kids alike.

“There’s nothing to offend anyone here,” Severing said, quoting from www.Bayweekly.com. “Most of the adult humor is verbal and will pass easily over the heads of small kids.

“For the kids, the fun is in the slapstick physicality and the visual antics, the sight gags created by this enthusiastic cast of five singing nuns, four kids, one priest and a half-dozen or so hand puppets. What they’re offering here is a Christmas spirit set free.”

“The Big Foot Acting Company has captured the essence of this funny Christmas show for the entire family,” Severing said, reminding that invitations are open to everyone in Big Foot and surrounding communities.

“Nuncrackers” will be performed Dec. 13-15 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults and $8 for seniors and children, and are available in advance or at the door. For tickets or more information, call 275-2116 ext. 560.

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