Nunsense is one of those timeless musicals that keeps an audience laughing as much as tapping their toes.
The Valley Theater Company is taking Nunsense to the next level with its spring production titled Nunsense: The Mega Musical, which opens April 26 at the Princess Theatre in downtown Prosser.
"This version is based on the original," said Candace Andrews, with the Valley Theater Company. "It adds five new sisters and brothers and a chorus of supporting characters to the original five nuns. It also has some new songs and expanded dance numbers to make this version bigger and better than ever."
Prosser actor Kimberly Starr plays Mother Superior, a role she said is as challenging as it is great fun.
"Mother Superior has many facets, which need to be played truthfully for the audience," Starr said. "This is a role I have wanted to play since I was in college. The show is very funny, (and) we have a very committed cast and crew who are passionate about creating an amazing performance."
Nunsense: The Mega Musical tells the hilarious story of nuns who try to raise funds for burial costs for 52 of their fellow nuns who were done in by eating bad soup. To earn the money, they decide to stage a talent show where each one has the opportunity to show off their singing and dancing abilities. Along the way, there are plenty of mishaps and burlesque-type jokes without the bad language.
Besides Starr, the other lead nun characters are Linda Martin as Sister Hubert, Heather Ruane as Sister Mary Amnesia, Trudy Farer as Sister Robert Anne and Hannah Bos as Sister Mary Leo. The supporting cast members are Ann Glover, Leroy Bussert, Bill Boge, Rene Furan, Brandy Bos, Naomi Alhadeff, L.J. Corse, Kathlyn Wolfe and Ashley Wolfe.
Julie Trumble is directing the drama portion of the show with Marcie Wall as choreographer and Patricia Schlotfeldt as musical director.
Ruane has a musical background in opera, but the silly antics and fun music of Nunsense: The Mega Musical is a crossover she's thoroughly enjoying.
"I really like the challenge of crossing over into other genres," Ruane said. "In this show, I sing an operatic-style duet opposite a trash-talkin' puppet in the first act. Then in the second act, I sing a heartfelt country-western number. And I get to sing and act it all while wearing a nun's habit. I love that."
Farer believes she was made to play the character of Sister Robert Anne.
"I could not ask for a character more suited to myself," she said. "It doesn't feel much like acting when I'm on stage because I see so much of myself in Sister Robert Anne. Nunsense is nonstop laughs, a comedy of errors."
So, if you've a hankering for some good belly laughs, it might be worth the drive to Prosser to find out if the zany group of nuns are able to raise enough money to bury their friends.
Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. April 26-27 and May 3, and at 2 p.m. May 4.
Tickets cost $15 for adults or $12 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at Adventures Underground in Richland, Patnode's Hardware in Benton City, Melange in Sunnyside, Safeway in Grandview, the Sixth Street Art & Gift Gallery in Prosser or at the door.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal