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These nuns will crack you up

‘Nuncrackers’ at Holly Theatre is a holiday show with a funny new twist

POSTED: November 25, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Rarely during the holiday season do we find ourselves saying "I'm bored."

With an abundance of family visits, Christmas shopping, office parties and holiday shows, it is not hard to find something to do this time of year.

The only problem is in the monotony of these things: Let's face it, there are only so many times one can see "The Nutcracker" or "A Christmas Carol." Their stories never change, no matter how wonderful they may be.

Dahlonega's Holly Theatre has heard cries for something new and refreshing this season and offers its patrons a Christmas show that will not only surprise the audience, but leave them in tears - mostly because they're laughing so hard.

"We chose to do ‘Nuncrackers' this year because we did ‘A Christmas Carol' last year and we were looking for something different," said co-director Gabe Russo, production manager at the Historic Holly Theatre. "It's a heck of a good show."

"Nuncrackers — The Nunsense Christmas Musical" is a story about nuns trying to raise money for their convent through a cable access show produced in the basement of their church.

Their Christmas special is supposed to be "The Nutcracker," but so many mishaps arise that it does not look plausible for the show to go on.

"This is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time," Russo said. "Even when I read the script for the first time, I found myself laughing out loud."

"Nuncrackers" will give the audience plenty to laugh about, while still supporting a local theater.

"I have done both community and professional theater," Russo said. "Professional acting can be grueling, but community theater allows you to build long-lasting friendships. Plus, I love The Holly. Being an old theater dog, I feel more comfortable in a musty old building than any other place in the world."

Because "Nuncrackers" involves a story of untrained actors trying to put on a huge production, Russo was able to cast new actors in lead roles.

"This is a show about a bunch of inept actors; they're putting on a show, but they're not actors, they're nuns," he said. "I didn't want the play to come off too slick and professional. At the same time, I didn't want to put a bunch of inept people up there. We have a lot of people on stage where it's their first time in a lead role, but it's much more believable because of it."

One of his favorite scenes is when the nuns do a Julia Childs cooking sequence.

"It's four minutes of the funniest theatre I've seen in years. During one rehearsal, Father Virgil delivered his lines so perfectly, even the nuns on stage couldn't relay their lines - they were laughing too hard," Russo said.
While it may be a family tradition to see "A Christmas Carol," Russo asks patrons to give "Nuncrackers" a chance.

"These actors are all brilliantly funny. It's crazy because the actors themselves belong to the characters; their personalities are so similar, which allows us to play on their strengths and weaknesses to create a great show," Russo said.

"Nuncrackers  — The Nunsense Christmas Musical" is a unique Christmas story that will leave patrons laughing from beginning to end, with a few heartwarming tears in the middle, leaving them with a wonderful holiday show experience.


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