Stage veterans Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld and Jill Evans are reprising their roles from 17 years ago as they prepare to perform in the Lyric Theatre’s upcoming musical comedy “Nunsense Jamboree."
In the Howard Payne University production 17 years ago, the women played Sister Mary Paul, AKA Sister Amnesia (Humfeld) and Sister Robert Anne. In the Lyric Theatre’s production, the two are part of a five-person cast that includes Sister Mary Leo (Andreahnna Rosenquist), Sister Mary Wilhelm (Dr. Kris Henry) and Father Virgil Manly Trott (Dr. Greg Church). Carene Baslee is “Sister Stage Manager.”
“Once you’ve created a character — once you find her — it’s almost like slipping into a pair of comfortable house shoes,” Humfeld said of recreating her role.
The full name of the production is “Sister Amnesia’s Country Western Nunsense Jamboree, which is directed by Humfeld. The Lyric Theatre’s website says “Nunsense Jamboree” has been “cheered by audiences and critics alike as funny and fast paced.”
The production is the Lyric Theatre’s first show of 2020 and includes a five-piece combo band on stage.
“It’s basically a story of these nuns who are trying to raise money to save their convent,” Lyric managing director Eric Evans said. “They’re traveling across the country putting on this particular show. Sister Amnesia hit her head someplace and has amnesia. It comes and goes as the day progresses. For the Lyric it’s our first show for the 2020 season. We’ve been real fortunate that Citizens National Bank is a consistent sponsor of our first show.”
The characters all have their own little quirks, Evans said.
“It’s a humor show,” Evans said. “It is a fun show. It’s a comedy for sure. It’s got lots of music in it. Lots of harmonies. The singers are all good.”
Nunsense Jamboree is the third installment from the "Nunsense" series. According to the website The Guide to Musical Theatre:
In the original “Nunsense,” Sister Amnesia (so-called because a crucifix had fallen on her head and she couldn't remember who she was) finally realized she was Sister Mary Paul, a nun who had always wanted to be a country singer.
In “Nunsense 2,” the Reverend Mother secured a recording contract for Sister Mary Paul, who is still known as Sister Amnesia, has made her first album and is on a tour promoting her new recording.
In “Nunsense Jamboree,” 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.
The show doesn’t have a heavy plot, but is “hilarious. It is an over-the-top comedy,” Humfeld said.
Humfeld described the show as “a presentational style production,” meaning the cast is performing for and with the audience.
Show times at the Lyric are:
• 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21
• 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22
• 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22
• 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23
• 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28
• 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28
• 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29
• 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 1