Meshuggah-Nuns!
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Kim Taylor

Hoochi-Do Productions in Sonoma once again gets into the habit of playing the Little Sisters of Hoboken in their current production, Messhuggah-Nuns! Booked on a “Faith of all Nations” world cruise aboard the USS Golden Delicious, the nuns are asked to save the day when most of the cast members of the onboard production, Fiddler on the Roof, get seasick.

The result is a growing exchange of humor and songs between the sisters and Howard Liszt (J. Anthony Martin), the man that was suppose to play Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. “What do you get when you touch a Jewish frog?” one of the nuns asks. “Schwartz!” And when Howard teams up with the Reverend Mother Mary Regina (Rhonda Guaraglia) to sell food and drink like Morgan David and Blue Nun wine, he introduces Cheeses of Nazareth.

While this comedy is full of Catholic and Jewish jokes and great slapstick humor, what makes this show sing is the music and the wonderful voices of the cast. Musical director and pianist Yamila Taboas adds to the great sounds of this production. Yamila is a graduate from the Pablo Casals Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico and the Peabody Institute of Music at John’s Hopkins University. Once again Sister Robert Anne (Daniela Innocenti-Beem), with her loud Brooklyn accent and old basketball shoes, is eventually turned loose to knock the audience overboard with her powerful singing voice. Sister Amnesia (Cindy Brillhart-True), who has trouble remembering anything, including her own identity, since a crucifix fell on her head, tells the most X-rated jokes in complete innocence. And Sister Mary Hubert (Francesca Weiner) continues her rivalry with the reverend mother.

Warning! There is a fair amount of audience participation in this show so you may be put into the compromising position of fondling a banana or picking a card from a loaded deck. Once again you’re encouraged to buy bingo cards because the game makes you part of the show, and you could win a nice prize.

For tickets or more information about this very entertaining musical, directed by Vicki Martinez, call (707) 546-2957 or visit www.hoochidoo.com.

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