Nuns are, by nature, either frightening or funny (undoubtedly the result of their resemblance to penguins). To guarantee that entries in the ever-expanding Nunsense series land on the funny side, just add absurd names and let the little nuns dance. It’s a recipe for unrestrained giggling.Center Stage Productions has gone with the show that gives “nun drag” new meaning: In Nunsense A-men! all the nuns are played by male actors. The result isn’t all that different—so these nuns are slightly more butch than the average—but the production is a whirlwind of energy and jokes that never get more off-color than, say, ecru. Under the direction of Jackie Schultz, veteran director of Six Women with Brain Death, the pacing never lags for longer than it takes to catch a breath. High points include the opera-trained voice and stern gaze of the Reverend Mother (Jay Stever), who will surely cause flashbacks for survivors of parochial schools.
The unrepentant scene stealer in this show is without a doubt the giddy, giggly, multifaceted-to-the-point-of-schizophrenia Jerry Lee as Sister Amnesia. Not only is Lee in fine voice with an equally fine range, his face—which borders on elastic—also takes Sister Amnesia from clown to canonization, often within the space of a single joke.
With irreverence that never crosses the line into blasphemy, this nunsensical musical both is lighthearted and light on its feet.