NUNSENSATIONS! The Nunsense Vegas Revue takes the sisters on a brand new adventure. When a parishioner volunteers to donate $10,000 to the sisters’ school if they will perform in a club in Las Vegas, Mother Superior is hesitant to accept. However, after being convinced by the other sisters that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” Reverend Mother agrees. What follows is the most feather-filled, sequin-studded, fan dancing Nunsense show ever! Performing in “The Pump Room” at the Mystique Motor Lodge, the sisters experience “show-biz” like never before. You’ll meet Sin-City Sue, find out who’s Black and White with Her Money on Red, and try to win a new car with the “Holy Rollers Giant Slot Machine.” Taking a line from another show, a critic pointed out, “It’s a whole lot funny and a little bit naughty, but there ain’t nothin’ dirty goin’ on!”
©2006 Dan Goggin
NUNSENSATIONS! THE NUNSENSE VEGAS REVUE takes place in “real time” in the Pump Room Lounge of the Mystique Motor Lodge in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Sisters have been told by a Hoboken parishioner that he would donate $10,000 to their school, if the Sisters would go to Las Vegas and perform in a friend’s showroom. Reverend Mother has serious doubts about appearing in ‘Sin City.” However, after convincing Reverend Mother “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” the Sisters plan their program.
The Sisters begin by visiting with the audience and taking names of people who want to participate in a game later in the show. After introducing Reverend Mother, the “real show” begins as the Overture is played and in a “Vegas-style” pageant, the cast is presented. An announcer reads brief bios of each of the Sisters – Reverend Mother Mary Regina, Sister Mary Hubert, Sister Robert Anne, Sister Mary Paul (Amnesia) and Sister Mary Leo. This leads into the opening number Life Is a Game of Chance.
Sister Robert Anne voices her concern that the audience may be expecting some T. and A. Reverend Mother says they’ll give the audience plenty of T. and A. – talent and attitude. T. & A. becomes a “Chorus Line” production featuring all of the nuns. This is followed up withThe Shtick – a quick vaudeville routine of “one-liners.”
Knowing the audience has come to Las Vegas to gamble, Sister Amnesia hosts a game of “Holy Rollers” consisting of a giant slot machine featuring pictures of the virtues that she has chosen: Faith, Hope, Charity, Will and Grace. Participants can win prizes if they spin the right combinations. After hearing some questionable conversation from Sister Amnesia, Reverend Mother reiterates her concern about the Sisters appearing in “Sin City.” Sister Hubert answers her in the duet What Plays in Vegas.
Sister Hubert then explains to the crowd that Sister Amnesia’s puppet, Sister Mary Annette, usually manages to appear in every show much to the chagrin of Reverend Mother. Rather than fighting the inevitable, Reverend Mother decides they should “get it over with,” and invites Sister Amnesia and Sister Mary Annette to the stage to perform The Ettes. However, it is discovered that Sister Mary Annette is missing. Sister Amnesia is convinced that she has been stolen. Sister Hubert sends Sister Amnesia off to look for her.
This leads into Sister Mary Leo’s solo From Vaudeville to Vegas in which she demonstrates her talent at various dance styles. Afterward she complains to Sister Hubert that she is having a terrible time as a “nun ballerina” because Reverend Mother insists that she wear the traditional habit at all times. Sister Hubert tries to cheer her up with a 50’s rock song, When the Chips Are Down.
Reverend Mother returns to the stage with a story of her past and admits that she once danced in a burlesque show. In Regina’s Dream the Sisters recreate Reverend Mother’s appearance in The Fifth From the Right. Sister Amnesia has returned from her search just in time for the number. When the piece concludes and Reverend Mother leaves the stage, Sister Amnesia confesses that she has been in the casino (forbidden by Reverend Mother) and has won a bundle of cash. She thinks Sister Mary Annette may have been kidnapped and will require a ransom. She explains what happened in What’s Black and White with Her Money on Red? Sister Robert Anne tells her to hide the money in the dressing room.
The act ends with all of the Sisters participating in a musical version of the Hindenburg as envisioned by Cirque du Soleil. Reverend Mother, in a huge headpiece, portrays the dirigible in Cirque du Blimp, culminating in a reprise of Life Is a Game of Chance.
Act Two opens with an Entr’acte played by the band segueing into a short version of Life Is a Game of Chance. This leads into a personal conversation between Sister Robert Anne and Sister Mary Leo. Sister Leo is questioning her vocation, given her frustrations with her dance career. She tells Sister Robert Anne of a boy she used to date in I Left Him There. Sister Robert Anne confides some of her own uncertainties, but is convinced they have both made the right choice.
As Sister Leo leaves, Reverend Mother returns. At the same time Sister Robert Anne gets a call on her cell phone from Sister Amnesia who is in the dressing room trying to warn Robert Anne that Reverend Mother has discovered the money. Too late! She has found the money in Sister Robert Anne’s locker and confronts her. Sister Robert Anne explains the whole story about the ransom and volunteers to return the money knowing of Reverend Mother’s attitude about the evils of gambling. Much to Robert Anne’s surprise, Reverend Mother says that she forgot to mention the blessings of gambling and tells her to put the money back in the dressing room.
The mood lightens when Sister Hubert and Reverend Mother discuss the “history of the show-girl” and illustrate it with Sin City Sue. This segues into another vaudeville routine -More Shtick. During the vaudeville routine the stage is set for Sister Hubert and Reverend Mother to hawk their “Sin City Souvenirs” followed by their duet Double or Nothin’. Then, unexpectedly, Sister Amnesia appears with Sister Mary Annette. It seems Sister Mary Annette was off auditioning for the “puppet” musical, “Avenue Q” and has been offered a part. She relates the experience in A Little Goes a Long Way.
No show of the Sisters’ would be complete without an appearance by “The Saint Andrews Sisters of Hoboken” and this time they are California dreaming in Hollywood ‘n’ Vinyl. They end the scene with More Shtick. As they exit, Sister Robert Anne has the stage to herself to perform Why Sing a Ballad (When You Can Belt a Show Tune.)
Returning, the Sisters are stunned to learn that the Hoboken parishioner who talked them into coming to Las Vegas for $10,000 had actually accepted a challenge from the owner of the casino. The owner bet $50,000 that the Sisters would refuse to appear. They are furious and think they should sue the owner who turns out to be a student who was expelled by Reverend Mother years before. Cooler heads prevail when Sister Hubert takes charge saying they are going to do something that people who win money in Vegas never do – they are going to take the $10,000 plus the money Sister Amnesia won and head for home. They don “Village People” hats and sing Take the Money and Run (T-T-M-‘N’-R.) They wave good-by as they once again reprise Life Is a Game of Chance.
The Nunsense Vegas Revue
By Dan Goggin
1 Reed: Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone & Alto Saxophone
Timpani (two pedal drums)
Cymbals (Hi-Hat, Ride, Splash, Crash)
Slide Whistle (optional)
1 Synthesizer (an upper keyboard for color registrations and a lower keyboard for Bass)
Piano (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material)
Sister Mary Regina — the Mother Superior
Sister Mary Hubert — the Mistress of Novices
Sister Robert Anne — the streetwise nun from Brooklyn
Sister Mary Paul — known as Sister Amnesia; also the voice of the puppet, Sister Mary Annette
Sister Mary Leo — the nun who wants to be a dancer
Announcer — male voiceover from offstage
Assistant Stage Manager — non-speaking
The original production had a cast of 7 performers.
NUNSENSATIONS! is the sixth show in Dan Goggin’s series of NUNSENSE shows.