In NUNSENSE I, when a wacky nun known as Sister Mary Amnesia regained her memory she recalled that she always wanted to be a country singer. In NUNSENSE II her dream became one step closer to reality when Reverend Mother landed a recording contract for her.
In this show, NUNSENSE JAMBOREE, her dream has been realized as she headlines a brand new show promoting her debut album “I Could’ve Gone to Nashville.” Cheered by audiences and critics alike as funny and fast-paced, this hilarious hoe-down is NUNSENSE fun with a Laugh-In-Hee-Haw-Grand-Ole-Op’ry slant. Outrageously funny musical numbers include I Could’ve Gone To Nashville, Everyday of the Week Is a Saturday, Do Unto Others, The Delta Queen, We Miss You, Patsy Cline, A Technicolor Woman and Growing Up in Brooklyn. You say you’re not a country music fan? Don’t worry-this country music is “NUNSENSE Theatrical Style” guaranteed to please any NUNSENSE fan!
– D. Goggin
In NUNSENSE, Sister Mary Amnesia (so-called because a crucifix had fallen on her head and she couldn’t remember who she was) finally realized that she was Sister Mary Paul, a nun who had always wanted to be a country singer. In NUNSENSE II: THE SEQUEL, Reverend Mother secured a recording contract for Sister Mary Paul (still affectionately known as Amnesia). Now, in NUNSENSE 3: THE JAMBOREE (officially titled SISTER AMNESIA’S COUNTRY WESTERN NUNSENSE JAMBOREE) Sister Amnesia has made her first album and is on a tour promoting her new recording. She is touring with Sister Robert Anne, Sister Mary Leo, and two new friends: Father Virgil Trott (Sister Mary Leo’s brother-a Franciscan priest with his own country radio show), and Sister Mary Wilhelm, the Superintendent of Nursing. (Reverend Mother and Sister Mary Hubert are back at the convent.) The show takes place in real time in whatever venue it happens to be booked.
The rousing title song Nunsense Jamboree introduces the performers and presents a quick background of each, so that those not familiar with NUNSENSE stories will be “up-to-speed.” Following some introductory remarks and acknowledgement of the evening’s sponsors, Sister Amnesia sings the title song of her new album I Could’ve Gone to Nashville. After some fast paced one-liners, Sister Amnesia goes out into the audience to give some tokens of appreciation to her fans. Sister Mary Wilhelm realizes things are getting out of hand and so retrieves Sr. Amnesia, as Sister Robert Anne and Father Virgil sing Ascension Air touting their first sponsor. Father Virgil then proudly presents his sister, Sister Mary Leo, who sings A Technicolor Woman. Sister Wilhelm is duly impressed and informs the audience that in one week Sister Leo will be getting her black veil and ring. This brings out some fears that have been haunting Sister Mary Leo and in a beautiful ballad, Seven A.M. in Phoenix, Sister Wilhelm tries to put her at ease.
Sister Robert Anne interrupts the proceedings with the announcement that she has been working on a new song and wants to present it. It is called Play a Country Enut and Sister explains that a country ‘enut’ is a country tune played backwards. It seems to amuse everyone but Sister Wilhelm. Father Virgil, preparing to sing about another sponsor is taken by surprise as Sister Mary Annette (the nun puppet) appears and coaxes him into singing a duet, The Story of Ida Lee. Things get back on track as Sister Amnesia reminisces about her home life culminating in the production number, Everyday of the Week is a Saturday. After a few more one-liners, Father Virgil and Sister Leo perform A Good Book which to everyone’s amusement turns out to be a salute to TV Guide. Then…great news…Sister Amnesia’s album is on the Billboard charts! The cast gives thanks with Praise to the Lord. Amnesia is so happy she says she would marry the record producer, but the others inform her that’s impossible in You’re a Nun. Act One ends with a hilarious finale…a salute to the patron Saint of Nursing, Saint Catherine Laboure.
Reprising the title song, cast members go into the audience, trading jokes. A call on Sister Robert Anne’s cell phone informs them that Sister Amnesia is up for an award. Sister Wilhelm says she will handle it as Sister Amnesia presents another song from her new album, Dial 411. Sister Robert Anne sings of her childhood in Growing Up in Brooklyn, after which Sr. Wilhelm returns to explain that Sister Amnesia has been asked to come to Nashville for a big ceremony but she must pay for it. Sister Robert Anne thinks she has the answer as she convinces the cast to join her in A Perfect Plot. Sister Wilhelm is appalled at Robert Anne’s suggestion. Meanwhile Father Virgil and Sr. Leo talk of their life in the Mississippi Delta and Father Virgil performs The Delta Queen. It’s time for another word from a sponsor as Sister Leo and Sister Robert Anne sing of Franciscan Fodder. This is followed by a salute to a Grand Ole Opry favorite in Mini-Pearls of Wisdom. Still not knowing if Sister Amnesia can afford a trip, Sister Wilhelm announces the first Catholic Country Auction in which all the audience participates in bidding on items from the Santa Lucia-Pet to an authentic Bible Belt. When Sister Wilhelm is summoned to take a phone call from Reverend Mother, Sister Robert Anne entertains the audience with her rendition of A Cowgirl from Canarsie. In a special tribute, the entire audience joins in the chorus of We Miss You, Patsy Cline. This is followed by the announcement that Reverend Mother has secured funds for Sister Amnesia to go to the ceremony, where it is now known that she will be chosen the most promising new country artist. The cast cheers her and tells her that she will be a star, but in a touching prayer, Everytime You Smiled at Me, vows that she will never leave the convent. In a foot-stomping, hand-clapping finale the cast closes the show with Do Unto Others.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Dan Goggin.
1 Keyboard Synthesizer
1 Bass (electric or acoustic)
1 Percussion (trap set for one player)
Timpani (one 26″ pedal tuned drum)
Crotale (C & D)
Snare Drum (brushes & sticks)
Temple Blocks (3 pitches)
Wood Block (sticks & rubber mallets)
Suspended Cymbal(s) (scrape, brushes, sticks & mallets)
Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material
Sister Mary Paul [AKA Amnesia]
The daffy nun who was hit on the head with a crucifix and for a long time didn’t remember who she was. Still called Sister Amnesia, she turned out to be Sister Mary Paul, a Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes winner who had once been a country singer.
Sister Mary Wilhelm
Superintendent of Nursing for the Diocese of Newark. She appears rather severe but turns out to be lots of fun. As a teenager she appeared in a movie with Frankie Avalon.
Sister Robert Anne
The streetwise tough kid from the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. A constant source of aggravation for superiors, but loved by the kids she teaches. She is the voice of the puppet, Sister Mary Annette.
Sister Mary Leo
The young novice who hopes to dedicate her life to God as a ballerina, but who is constantly frustrated by Reverend Mother’s refusal to let her perform in a tutu. She is soon to take her vows and receive her black veil.
Father Virgil Manly Trott
A Franciscan priest who is Sister Mary Leo’s real-life brother. He is very handsome and well aware of it. He is an authentic country singer originally from Mississippi.
Sister Mary Regina
Mother Superior of the Little Sisters of Hoboken, We hear from her in this show via “voice-over” on the telephone.
Brother/Sister Stage Manager
Appears as him/herself, with messages for the others.
NUNSENSE JAMBOREE is the third in Dan Goggin’s series of NUNSENSE musicals.