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All I Want For Christmas is a Singing Nun

November 22, 2010

Nothing says “Happy Holidays!” like singing nuns, right? Obviously, the folks at SLO Little Theatre thought so, because their hilarious Christmas show, Nuncrackers, opened last Friday. The show focuses on the little sisters of Hoboken, who are filming their first TV special, and as the evening progresses, everything that can go wrong, does, with comedic results.

For actress Anna Romero, who plays Sister Mary Hubert, the play is a great holiday diversion.

“I just think it has nothing to do with anything in real life at all,” said Romero on opening night of the show. And most people would agree that singing, dancing nuns, cross-dressing Julia Child impersonators, and Catholic hoedowns are about as far from reality as it gets.

Audience members appreciated the play as well, as they roared with laughter at the little sisters’ antics.

“It was very funny,” said Wilda Rosene, who saw the play. “And I’m not Catholic, so I think some of the jokes went over my head.”

Overall, the play is a delightful holiday special full of caroling and mirth.

Click Play for an audio interview with Jim Shine, director of Nuncrackers, and photos of the cast!

Q: How did you get involved with SLO Little Theatre?

Jim Shine: I actually just contacted them because the way they do their season, they just ask for directors to submit ideas for their season so I just sent a letter to Kevin and said I wanted to direct this season and he asked me what shows I was interested in doing and I told him and he said, “Well actually, we’ve already chosen the shows this year and we have a show that I think you might be good at. It’s called Nuncrackers and it’s a Christmas musical.” I had never heard of it. So, you know, he gave me the script first and I read it and I said, “Yeah, I think I could do this.” And so that’s how it happened.

Q: So basically already what attracted you to Nuncrackers, I guess it really wasn’t your choice.

Shine: Yeah, it wasn’t. It didn’t. It wasn’t my choice and it wasn’t on my list of things because I had never even heard of it, actually. I mean, I’d heard of Nunsense, but I didn’t know they had a Christmas version. So I read it and he said, “I want you to direct it.” So when you direct something you have to love it. I mean, that’s why they ask you what you want to do, and then, you know, you’re passionate about the things you want to do but then, you know, it turned out that they had the show already chosen and he said, “Read it and do you think you could do this,” and I read it and thought, “You know, this is really fun.” I grew to love it, because, you know directors have to love everything they do. So we did it and here we are. Here we are in three dimensions!

Q:What was your favorite part of directing the show?

Shine: You know, I think the biggest part, because I’m a professional actor, is really, I did community theater way back before I went to school and got training and became a professional, so I hadn’t been in community theater, as anything, for years and years and years. The one thing that I had forgotten about community theater is that people are here because they want to be. They’re not getting paid. They have jobs during the day. It’s the love. They do it purely for the love of doing it. And it’s refreshing to work with people like that because often when you work with professionals they’re jaded and it’s just another job. You know, they don’t. Of course they love it because they’re professionals and they got into it, and you have to love it to do it. The pay isn’t great but the hours are lousy, so it’s really not a good career choice as far as making money or you know all that kind of thing, but you have to love it when you do it. But there’s just something that I learned from coming back to community theater was that I had missed that in working with professionals. You know, of course everyone did their job, but these people are volunteering their time and they really want to be here so it was refreshing to work with people who were like that. Not that all professionals are bitter of course. You know, it’s just that was my favorite part. The little triumphs are things that professional actors take for granted. To them it’s a big triumph because they’re not professional actors so you coach them to get them to go to a certain place and then they do and then they themselves realize, “Wow, how cool is this!” So anyway, that was my favorite part.


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