Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nuns strike funnybone

February 19. 2013 7:44PM
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Sister Mary Leo was supposed to dance the lead in a Christmas ballet, but she's been injured. While Mother Superior ponders what to do, the other Little Sisters of Hoboken stall for time.

But, Sister Julia, Child of God is also missing. Who will demonstrate the baking of the Christmas fruitcake in her place? Not Father Virgil, with an apron over a habit?

Yes, another wacky adventure is taking place at Mt. St. Helen's Convent, as the Pennsylvania Theatre of Performing Arts presents Nuncrackers this weekend and next in Hazleton.

They will have rather large, fairy-tale wings. Whether or not I have tutus for them remains to be seen, director Sarah Perlin said early this week as she described a scene in which Father Virgil, after his rum-soaked baking ordeal, and Mother Regina both try to substitute for Sister Mary Leo.

This dance of the dueling Sugar Plum Fairies is really funny because he's still drunk from the previous scene and he's doing a mirror-image ballet with the Mother Superior, who is very angry.

Now, don't let the zany sugar plums mislead you. Nuncrackers is a musical, not a ballet, despite its name. That's just a play on words, Perlin said.

For a ballet performance closer to the heart of the traditional Tchaikovsky favorite, you can check out The Story of the Nutcracker at 3 p.m. Saturday at Downtown Arts in Wilkes-Barre.

Against the backdrop of a large, painted storybook, young party guests in velvet dresses will celebrate with their friend Clara (Jessi Mendoza) as she receives the gift of a nutcracker and they'll be sad for her when it breaks.

Then, toy soldiers and mice, snowflakes and flowers will add to the magic of the Dance Theatre of Wilkes-Barre's production.

If you go

What: ‘Nuncrackers'

Where: J.J. Ferrara Center, 212 W. Broad St., Hazleton

When: Tonight through Dec. 16. Shows 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, with dinner 90 minutes before show.

Tickets: $20 to $32 for dinner and show; $10 to $16 show only

Reservations: 454-5451

What: ‘Stories from the Nutcracker'

Where: Downtown Arts, 47 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre

When: 3 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $10 at the door

Info: 905-7308


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