Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Theater Review

'Nun' Slips on Its Name-Dropping

January 17, 2002|JANA J. MONJI | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

There's a clever little prologue by a Sister Alfred, delivered with properly grave Hitchcockian monotone by the rotund Scott Dittman. Bruce W. Gilray and Richard T. Witter have crammed into it a plethora of Hitchcock and Hollywood references. Unfortunately, this is the best part of their Agatha Christie whodunit parody and tribute to Hollywood glamour days, "And Then There Was Nun" at the Knightsbridge L.A. Theatre.

During the play, more movie names are dropped as the 10 nuns are slowly knocked off during a weekend retreat at Grauman's Chinese Island. During this name-dropping game, the ensemble gives uneven caricatures of Hollywood glitterati.

Some of these references will fly higher than Sister Bertrille over your head if you're not familiar with Tinseltown lore. Sally Field doesn't make an appearance, although some of the lines in this play are as embarrassing as Fields' "you like me" Oscar acceptance speech.

Victoria Hoffman as Sister Vivien (Leigh) at her Scarlett O'Hara best despite being limited to the conservative black-and-white of holy life and Pyeshon Omar Jackson as the no-nonsense nun, Sister Hattie (McDaniel), give charmingly watchable characterizations. Trisha Melynkov's Sister Katharine (Hepburn) captures the determination undeterred by the tremulous shake of Parkison's disease. Debbi Baron is a cheery Sister Judy (Garland).

Other characterizations utterly fail to capture the illusion of the stars. Director Hugh Harrison lets this semi-drag affair drag on, perhaps hoping for laughs where there aren't any. Last year's flawed, but funny "There's No Place Like Hollywood" was better at campily capturing the essence of the parodied stars. This trifle is nun too pleasing nunsense.

"And Then There Was Nun," Knightsbridge Theatre Los Angeles , 1944 Riverside Drive, L.A. Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Ends Feb. 24. $22. (626) 440-0821. Running time: 2 hours.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|