Picketwire is closing out their 50th season with a true holiday spectacular. “Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical” will run December 13th, 14th and 15th. The show follows Father Virgil and nuns of Mt. Saint Helen’s Abbey as they attempt to tape their first ever tv special. In typical Nunsense fashion, nothing goes as planned. The nuns struggle to maintain control of a show that is quickly veering off into uncharted (and hilarious) territory. This show has everything, and I do mean everything. From a yodeling to a lightsaber fight, “Nuncrackers” has something for everyone. The audience is treated to plenty of singing, dancing and participation. Despite being billed primarily as a comedy, “Nuncrackers” has a tender side as well. The characters reminisce about past holidays, both bittersweet and joyful as they reflect on the true meaning of the season.
Desiree Goheen plays an exuberant Sister Mary Hubert, and does a fine job of bringing plenty of levity to the show. Playing her serious counterpart is Tracey Salzbrenner in the role of Reverend Mother Sister Mary Regina. Salzbrenner makes a commanding Mother Superior and delivers some of the show’s best one-liners. In addition to tackling these roles. Goheen and Salzbrenner have acted as director and assistant director respectively. The pair has done a fantastic job of staging “Nuncrackers.” They have also done a fine job of showcasing local talent, as the rest of the cast is also a delight to watch. Despite the fact that her character suffers from amnesia, Teagan Summers manages to deliver a very memorable performance as Sister Mary Paul. Her energy and enthusiasm add a joyful note to the entire production. Another stand-out Sister is Angel Leija in the role of Sister Robert Ann. Leija’s Robert Ann yearns for the spotlight, while singing and dancing her way into the audience’s hearts. Having a strong ensemble is a must for any musical, and in this respect “Nuncrackers” truly shines. Rounding out the Nuns of Saint Helen’s Abbey are Tracie Petry (Sister Mary Agnes), Jessica Rebel (Sister Mary Leo), Omayra Pumalpa (Sister Mary Celeste) and Rachael Berg (Sister Mary Wilhelm). This quartette of singing and dancing nuns were hilarious supporting actors. Dr. Patrick Smith as Father Virgil Manly Trott also lends his able acting talent to the show. Smith’s comedic timing and use of physical comedy is not to be missed. Portraying the students of Mount Helen’s Abbey are Samuel Goheen, Anya Miller, Emilia Smith-Pumalpa, Chole Nunez, Noah Nunez-Rebel, Christian Smith-Pumalpa, Liliana Barela and Mariah Gallegos. The younger members of the cast did a fantastic job with their performances, showcasing their acting, singing and dancing chops. The students did an especially fine job of working with their (somewhat demanding) list of props. Christian Smith-Pumalpa’s violin solo is especially impressive. With humor that can be appreciated by all ages, “Nuncrackers” is a theatrical treat for the holiday season that is not to be missed.
Performance dates for “Nuncrackers” are December 13th, 14th and 15th at 7:30 PM. Ticket price are $15.00. Tickets can be purchased online at picketwireplayers.org, calling 384-8320, or by stopping by the box office at 802 San Juan. Box office hours are from 5:30-7:00 Monday through Friday.