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Back in Black: 5 years after “Nunsense” opened the new Black Box, Woodbury Community Theatre performs sequel

Marcie Berglund of Cottage Grove sings “Look Ma, I Made It,” in “Nunsense 2: The Second Coming.” The Woodbury Community Theatre production runs Feb. 9-25 at the Black Box Theatre at the Merrill Community Arts Center. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia

Those making a pilgrimage to the Feb. 9 opening of "Nunsense II" at the Merrill Community Arts Center should expect a hefty dose of ham - Fridays excluded, of course.

If you didn't get that joke, don't fret. You don't have to be Catholic to hang out with the starstruck sisters at Mt. St. Helens School in Hoboken, N.J.

These ladies christened the Black Box when Woodbury Community Theatre did the first "Nunsense" revue five years ago.

"It was the first show we did in the Black Box," director Lenore Weir said.

Weir has returned to direct the sequel, which finds the Order of the Little Sisters of Hoboken yearning to return to the stage. In the first "Nunsense," the panicked penguins became a surprise sensation when they organized and performed in a benefit show to save their convent from bankruptcy.

This time around, they're a little more savvy and sophisticated. Why not perform a second concert as a thank-you program for their supporters?

Marcie Berglund of Cottage Grove starred in the first "Nunsene" and will reprise her role as Sister Regina, the tart-tongued Irish mother superior.

"It's a tie-in to original one," Berglund said."They did their original one, they got all caught up in it...They kind of like being stars, I think."

For all her flinty rectitude, not even Sister Regina is immune to the temptations of the stage, Berglund said.

"Mother superior has changed a bit," she said. "She herself has been re-bitten by the showbiz bug. She's a little bit more open than she was in the first 'Nunsense.' She's still the leader of the pack, though."

Her big number is "Look Ma, I Made It,"

The Catholics in the audience seem to enjoy the show the most, said Cyndi Strutz of Stillwater, who plays Sister Robert Anne.

"They get the inside jokes that we don't get."

The cast also includes Sister Hubert (Ro Tripi) who gets her mother superior tipsy on sake. Sister Mary Leo (Haley Garland) gets to roller skate onstage.

"It's kind of like a variety show," said Garland, who lives in Woodbury. "What's so fun is that there are five people. Everyone gets their moment."

Sister Mary Amnesia (Kerri Hommez) arrives at the convent with no memory, the result of a crucifix falling on her head. She sings a duet with a hand puppet.

"I have a lot of Catholic family coming," Hommez said.

If you go:

Nunsense II: The Second Coming runs 7 p.m. Feb. 9-10, 16-17 and 23-34; 3 p.m. Feb. 11, 18 and 25. Tickets are $20. The Black Box Theatre is located at the Merrill Community Arts Center at East Ridge High School, 4200 Pioneer Dr, Woodbury. For more information, visit

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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