Footlighters stages fun Christmas musical, ‘Nuncrackers’
BERWYN >> If Footlighters Theater’s production of the Christmas musical Nuncrackers doesn’t instill some holiday cheer into you in the coming weekends, it’s likely nothing else will. Through song, dance and a goodly amount of audience participation, this high-energy musical takes a fond look at the traditions and rituals of the Christmas season.
Nuncrackers is the fourth installment in the Nunsense series of musicals by writer/composer Dan Goggin. What started as a line of satirical nunthemed greeting cards went on to become a 1985 off-Broadway hit followed by a popular line of sequels and spinoffs.
The family-friendly show is presented as the first TV special taped in the Cable Access Studio built by Reverend Mother in the convent’s basement. It stars the nuns so well loved from the original production, plus Father Virgil, and some of Mount Saint Helen’s most talented students. The variety show is meant to include a rendition of the “Nutcracker” ballet, but things start to unravel almost as soon as they begin. As the taping begins to hit a few snags, Sister Amnesia (a well-intentioned but scatterbrained nun) is ordered to fill time by going into the audience to deliver Secret Santa gifts. It’s a wonderful interlude and one of several ways Nuncrackers invites the audience to be part of the show.
Like the convent’s show, the production is a chaotic success driven by an equally unhinged cast of performers. The core of the cast is dressed in matching habits, set apart by their wildly distinct personalities that grow increasingly over the top as the show goes on.
The show includes lots of audience interaction as well as some traditional carols in the overture and as underscoring, plus some entertaining Christmas Carol spoofs. A fun escapade for all ages, the comedy is an effective mix of innuendo and wordplay just vague enough to go over the heads of younger theatergoers.
Nuncrackers runs through Saturday, Dec. 17. Evening shows are at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 per person, children 12 and under just $10 each. Group discounts are available for parties of 15 or more. Tickets are available in advance (recommended to insure your seat) at www.footlighterstheater.com or at the door. The theater is located at 58 Main Avenue in Berwyn, just two blocks from the Berwyn Train station (Paoli/Thorndale line). On-street parking is available, and patrons also have access to the church parking lot across the street. Note: This production is a fundraising event and is not included in season ticket packages.
The cast of “Nuncrackers” putting the finishing touches on their Christmas musical, running Dec 2 though Dec. 17 at Footlighters Theater in Berwyn.