The 2015 season at the Altarena Playhouse in Alameda, California ended with “Nunsense”, a musical about nuns:
This was TERRIBLE. Set in a convent where a recent cooking mishap resulted in a death of 50+ nuns, the surviving nuns are putting on a variety show to raise money to bury the bodies of their past sisters. This is the basis of the musical.
Being a “variety show”, it was a series of acts and satirical songs about nuns. With numbers like “Baking with the Virgin Mary”, “Dying Nun” (a pun on the “flying nun”), and songs like “Holier than thou”, it was a nonstop string of innuendos. In this musical, nuns have secret desires to be famous dancers/singers and get high on drugs. Nuns are women who took active vows of chastity – as human beings, an occasional inuendo would have been funny but an entire musical of them was quite offensive.
The talent was ok – Donna Turner, a frequent Altarena performer, was even in it. But the content to me was not funny and in poor taste. However, there were lots of senior citizens in the audience today, all of whom were laughing out loud the whole time. Maybe it was just me…
In any case, I have been a season subscriber at the Altarena for years but 2015, by far, was the worst collection of productions they have had. The line up for 2016 looks pretty good, though, and so I’m hopeful for a better year ahead.