The Nunsense Christmas Musical, NUNCRACKERS, takes place in real time in the basement of Mount Saint Helen’s Convent. It is the first TV Special being taped in the Cable Access TV Studio built by Reverend Mother with part of the prize money won earlier by Sister Mary Paul (aka Amnesia). A live camera with two television monitors is used to create an actual TV Studio feeling for the audience.
The show is the annual Christmas program put on at Mount Saint Helen’s. Opening with the rousing Christmas Time Is Nunsense Time, we are introduced to the cast and are given a brief update of what’s been happening in the past with everyone. We soon discover that we are to be treated to an original ballet based on the “Nutcracker” featuring Sister Mary Leo as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Unfortunately before Sister Leo makes her grand entrance she is hit in the shin by one of the children’s batons. What to do? The show will have to proceed without the ballet until Reverend Mother can figure out how to salvage it.
As if there isn’t already enough to deal with, word comes that the gifts under the convent Christmas tree have been stolen. Reverend Mother goes to investigate, leaving Father Virgil to entertain the audience with a touching ballad he wrote for his sister (Sister Mary Leo) called The Christmas Box. He then introduces Sister Amnesia who sings her latest country hit, Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House.
Reverend Mother tells tales of her years in the circus remembering one winter storm when they were trapped in a hotel with Sophie Tucker. This is followed by Reverend Mother’s song An Old Time Carnival Christmas. Meanwhile, the cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, who was supposed to appear, doesn’t show up and so Father Virgil is forced to impersonate her demonstrating some Christmas cooking including instructions on making a fruitcake…the gift that lasts a lifetime. However, there seems to be an abundance of rum in the recipe leaving Father Virgil quite soused. Reverend Mother thinks she has a solution to the ballet problem (not realizing that Father Virgil has come upon the same solution) and the ballet goes forward. It is then we realize both Father Virgil and Reverend Mother appear as Sugar Plum Fairies and the first act ends with the “dueling” Sugar Plum Fairies in a hilarious ballet spoof.
After visiting with the audience the cast takes their places as the “camera rolls” and Act Two begins with Three Hundred and Sixty-Four Days, a song about last minute shopping woes. This is followed by the “Living Nativity Scene” featuring the students and Sister Robert Anne singing a beautiful ballad, Jesus Was Born in Brooklyn as she recalls the time her father returned home on Christmas Eve. The popular carol, O Come All Ye Faithful is woven throughout the song.
Behind the scenes the Sisters are trying to find out what happened to all the missing gifts. But on stage the program proceeds. Sister Mary Hubert and Reverend Mother sing a duet, In the Convent (It’s a Wonderful, Nun-derful Life). The Saint Andrews Sisters, of Hoboken present We Three Kings of Orient Are Us! This is followed by Mother Superior’s introduction of the “Catholic Home Shopping Service” in which she offers some very unusual items for Christmas. When Reverend Mother is summoned upstairs to talk to the police about the stolen presents, Sister Robert Anne sings her ‘big number’ All I Want for Christmas. There is a “sing-along” based on the titles of 25 popular Christmas carols that everyone knows. As the evening moves toward the finale we discover that the gifts in the convent weren’t stolen at all…Sister Mary Amnesia had given them to a poor family. Realizing how selfish they had been, Sister Hubert leads a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, gospel song entitled It’s Better to Give Than to Receive.
The show includes some traditional carols in the overture and as underscoring, plus some Christmas Carol spoofs including Here We Come-a-Waffle-ing and The Holly and the Ivory. Of course, the show is filled with the traditional “Nunsense-sense of humor” and one-liners that have made the three previous NUNSENSE shows so popular.