Friday, March 2, 2012

Showtimers' 'Nunsense' Fills Its Piece of the Puzzle

The cast of 'Nunsense' at Showtimers
It has been far too long since I attended a play at Showtimers, the theater troupe that is likely Roanoke's oldest at 61, and I had, frankly, almost forgotten what traditional community theater felt like. It feels pretty good.

The show, which has consistently sold well, runs through Sunday. What few tickets remain are available here.

The production of Dan Goggin's musical comedy "Nunsense" is standard fare for amateur local theater groups. It does not challenge and it does not bring up unpleasantness. This play within a play is about as light as theater gets, good for a few laughs (sometimes at it as much as with it when it gets to this level) and an entertaining evening.

Since the closing of Roanoke's professional theater, Mill Mountain, months ago, we have relied on the edgier and often more creative side of the the genre to fill our need for theater and it has been rewarding on a number of levels. But sometimes a good escape fills the evening's entertainment need and this one provides the escape.

The story revolves around five nuns putting on a show to raise money for four funerals (that's it in a nutshell, though there are nuances) and like so much with community theater, it is performed unevenly--though often with notable talent. When Stevie Holcomb ( remember her from "Wooden Snowflakes" at Theater Roanoke, one of the best pieces I've seen in years) and Celie Holmes (as a ditzy amnesiac who was often hilarious) were in the spotlight, the show was at its liveliest, funniest and best. Cate Carney added a classy touch of talent with song and dance and Rose Guzi and Beverly Amsler had their moments. Nancy Lawrence directed.

I noted to my companion that the crowd was a good bit older than what we've seen in many months, more like the Mill Mountain Theatre crowds, when it was open. My guess is that older theater-goers like the familiar and they love musical comedy. That became one of the downfalls of MMT, which was thoroughly predictable and without creativity during its last years. Younger crowds have been filling up the venues for new plays and the more adventurous theater in Roanoke and these venues have created a whole new generation of followers here.

As I probably say far too often, we are fortunate in a locality this size to have both the amount and the quality of theater we have. Showtimers adds to this valuable quality of life element of our little Valley and I'm grateful for its existence.

No comments:

Post a Comment