‘Nunsense’ opens today
December 13, 2005
BRECKENRIDGE – Heidi Dickstein was at first hesitant to claim her role as Sister Robert Anne in the Backstage Theatre’s production of “Nunsense” that opens today.”When I tried out, there was a box of information to fill out that asked, ‘In your heart of hearts, if you got to pick a role, what would it be?'” Dickstein said. “I didn’t fill it out because I didn’t think I was qualified. But it truly was Sister Robert Anne.”The tough, streetwise nun from Brooklyn, who is constantly a needle in the side of the Reverend Mother, according to Dickstein, is the first character the 46-year-old mother of two has ever portrayed on stage. “I’ve never acted, ever, so it was a real whim (to try out),” she said.Dickstein, who lives north of Silverthorne, was encouraged to audition for the play by her participation in the Summit Choral Society. She said they offered her the chance to sing solos and a friend encouraged her to audition.Dickstein’s co-stars in the play, however, are no strangers to the Summit County stage.Vanessa Bowie plays Sister Leo, who dreams of becoming the world’s first nun ballerina. Leslie Randle Chapman, who also wears the hat of musical director for the production, is Sister Amnesia – a crucifix fell on her head, and she doesn’t remember her real name. Kristianne Seaton is the even-tempered Mistress of the Novices with a secret soulful side, Sister Hubert. And Sandra Willis plays the stern but loveable Sister Mary Regina – the convent’s “No. 1” Reverend Mother.
The nuns of Mount St. Helens face a financial dilemma after most of the order was accidentally poisoned to death when the convent chef (Sister Julia – Child of God) mixed up an especially atrocious vichyssoise soup and there was only enough money to bury all but four of the sisters.With the Jersey Board of Health on their backs – the four dead nuns are stored in the freezer – the sisters take the stage to raise money to send the four sisters off to claim their heavenly reward.The nuns, luckily, all seem to have no problem with being in the limelight.Sister Leo, who wishes to dedicate her life to God through the dance, says in a song with Sister Hubert, “How can I be humble and advance my career?”As an understudy, Sister Robert Anne, is not fulfilled. She wonders how the others do not see “that I deserve a leading role.”The Reverend Mother, who became a nun to live up to a deal she made with God, considers herself a mother superior who loves the spotlight. She and Sister Hubert sing, “We’re just a couple of sisters who’ve discovered harmony.” And Sister Amnesia may have an underlying disposition for the stage, but, alas, she doesn’t remember.The nuns, who still wear their habits “to keep our magic spell,” stick it out together to solve the convent’s problems.
Although stormy weather in Summit kept the cast from a few of their scheduled rehearsals, Dickstein says she’s ready for her time in the spotlight.”I’m working with very experienced women, who know what they’re doing,” she said.Dickstein also said the play’s director, Chris Willard, kept the actors on track, encouraged and excited to move forward.”There should be a law against having this much fun,” she said. “I’ve never done anything I’ve enjoyed as much as this.””Nunsense” runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting today and ending Jan. 21 with the exception of Dec. 22-24 and Dec. 31. Tickets to the show are $15 and can be obtained by calling the Breckenridge Theatre at (970) 453-0199.Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 669-3998, ext. 13622, or email@example.com.
Live Theater- What: “Nunsense,” a musical comedy revue- When: Thursdays through Saturdays until Jan. 21 (no shows Dec. 22-24 or Dec. 31)- Where: Breckenridge Theatre, 121 S. Ridge St., Breckenridge- Tickets: $15, (970) 453-0199