Arts and Entertainment

Drama Dock’s latest show is a holiday treat

The cast of “Nuncrackers” clowns around at a rehearsal.   - Elizabeth Shepherd/Staff Photo
The cast of “Nuncrackers” clowns around at a rehearsal.
— image credit: Elizabeth Shepherd/Staff Photo

Island thespians are getting ready to ring in the holidays with “Nuncrackers,” a comedy that features a gaggle of singing and dancing nuns, a priest who gets soused on rum while making a fruitcake and four naughty school children who raise a ruckus while appearing in a convent-produced, cable-access TV special.

The show, produced by Drama Dock, opens this weekend at Blue Heron Art Center, and co-director Elizabeth Ripley said audiences are in for a holiday treat.

“The show is hilarious,” Ripley said. “I literally fell off the stage during a rehearsal, and that doesn’t happen very often.”

Ripley said the fun of “Nuncrackers” began at auditions for the show, when she and her co-director Chris Ott were amazed by the number of talented Island women who turned out to try their luck at being cast as a nun in the show.

“We couldn’t turn anyone away; there were so many wonderful voices,” Ripley said, adding that she and Ott made the decision to fluff out the cast a bit with a chorus of novice nuns.

The show is part of a franchise of “Nunsense” productions, all written by Dan Groggin.

“Nunsense” got its start in 1985 and became one of the longest-running off-Broadway shows ever. The show was followed up by a number of sequels and television productions.

Drama Dock’s production is one of thousands of “Nunsense” productions that have been staged worldwide.

Characters in the play include a forgetful nun named Sister Mary Amnesia; the convent cook, named Sister Julia, Child of God; and another nun who is determined to have a dual vocation in both the convent and on the dance floor.

Ripley said she’s loved working with the cast and crew, which includes musical director Christopher Overstreet, choreographer Lizzy Schoen and costumer Lillian Ripley.

The troupe has prepared for the show with a month-long rehearsal process, as well as special promotional appearances with The Church of Great Rain, the Dickens Festival in Tacoma and a midnight gig in a burlesque show at The Pink Door cabaret lounge in Seattle.

According to Ripley, it’s all been a lot of fun, and she’s looking forward to sharing the show with Island audiences.

“I love watching the actors make the show their own,” she said.

“Nuncrackers” will be presented at Blue Heron Art Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 17 and 18, 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 22 and 23, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 26. Tickets, $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, are on sale at Island book stores, Heron’s Nest, The Blue Heron and www.brownpapertickets.com.

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