Lyric Theatre Presents Outdoor Production of Nunsense

Lyric Theatre’s 2021 season continues next week with the opening of the sinfully funny hit musical Nunsense, presented outdoors April 21 through May 9, at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.


Nunsense follows the misadventures of five nuns who are trying to manage a fundraiser. Sadly, after the deaths of the rest of the sisterhood from botulism after eating vichyssoise prepared by Sister Julia (Child of God), the remaining nuns stage a talent show to raise money to bury their dearly departed. Participating in the project are Mother Superior Sister Regina, a former circus performer who cannot resist the spotlight; her competitive but dignified rival, second-in-command Sister Mary Hubert; Sister Robert Anne, a streetwise nun from Brooklyn; Sister Mary Leo, a novice who is determined to be the world's first ballerina nun; and wacky, childlike Sister Mary Amnesia, who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head.


Written by Dan Goggin, the production will feature direction from Lyric’s Associate Artistic Director Ashley Wells and choreography by Matthew Sipress, Lyric’s company/production manager. Nunsense features lighting design by Fabian J. Garcia, set design from Kimberly Powers, costume/props design by Jeffrey Meek and sound design from Corey Ray. Adam Brand serves as technical director, and Sydney Bryan will stage manage.


Nunsense originated as a line of greeting cards before Goggin penned the book, music and lyrics to the musical, which holds the record of the second-longest running Off-Broadway show in history. The production has since been adapted for television and has spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs.


Starring in Lyric’s production are Brenda Williams (Sister Mary Regina), Cheyanne Marie (Sister Mary Hubert), Brooke Melton (Sister Robert Anne), Jenny Rader (Sister Mary Amnesia) and Ashley Mandanas (Sister Mary Leo). Jessica Vanek and Viviana Goodwin will serve as understudies for the five roles.  Theatre-goers may recognize Williams from her roles in Lyric’s A Christmas Carol, Fiddler on the Roof and Billy Elliot, among others. Mandanas previously performed in Lyric’s productions of Ragtime, The King & I, Lyric’s A Christmas Carol and Lyric’s Moonlight Cabaret. Melton returns to Lyric’s stage after the 2019 production of The Rocky Horror Show, and Marie’s credits include Titanic from the same season. While on staff with Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy, Nunsense marks Rader’s first mainstage Lyric production.


Nunsense is Lyric’s second show of the 2021 season, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Other productions planned this year are Grease (June 15-27, Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School Pribil Football Stadium), Master Class (September 15-October 3, Myriad Botanical Gardens Water Stage) and Lyric’s A Christmas Carol (November 17-December 23, the historic Harn Homestead.) Flexible ticket packages are available through the Lyric Box Office.


After having to postpone much of the 2020 season due to the pandemic, Lyric was among just a handful of professional theatres in the nation to resume shows last fall. With safety protocols in place, Lyric moved its productions outdoors and will maintain that stance this year. Due to social distancing restrictions, tickets to all performances are limited. A number of safety precautions will be in place, including social distancing and face mask requirements for all patrons. Hand sanitizer and other safety equipment will be available throughout. For more information, visit or call the Box Office at (405) 524-9312.