Sept. 12--The future begins with a little help from the past this weekend at Corner Bistro Theater.
After undergoing a change of ownership and renovations earlier this year, the Carbondale theater will present "Nunsense," its first stock theatrical production since the transition, on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
And considering that the theater presented "Nunsense" hundreds of times over 20-plus years, earning it the nickname "the nun theater," entertainment director Rob Misko thought it was only appropriate to kick off this new era with a nod to its history. He hopes doing the show again will "get people in to see what the new theater looks like, how it was remodeled, and that we are back. We are doing things."
Mr. Misko and his family owned the theater at 76 S. Main St. for 26 years before selling it in March to Ann and Gabor Galgo. The new owners remodeled the space, building a new lighting and sound booth off the stage, moving the pit to the stage from the audience, and painting and relighting the area.
Guests can order tapas-style food to nibble on or just come for the show. And while the theater previously used to have rows of seats for patrons, more like a dinner theater, it now seats them around round tables.
"When you look at it it's very supper club, I'd say," Mr. Misko said.
While much has changed, Mr. Misko pointed out that some aspects have remained the same.
"We're still bringing this kind of quality (productions) even with the new owners," Mr. Misko said.
That continues with "Nunsense," a comedy about a group of nuns who put on a talent show to raise money to bury the last few members of an order who died after one of the nuns poisoned them. While the storyline is "a little crazy," Mr. Misko said, it also has "some really nice moments and extremely funny moments." The show is funny and "a ball" to do, he added, but it also shows the audience a different side of nuns.
"For me, we always have that very religious, solemn side that you see, but when you become friends with them, you find out they're people," said Mr. Misko, who attended Catholic school and portrays Reverend Mother in the show. "And that's what I think this show does. ... You get to see both sides, and I think that's the humor. It's probably the first show that I ever stopped and laughed out loud."
Corner Bistro has presented "Nunsense" countless times since around 1989, when Mr. Misko said it became the first non-equity theater in Northeast Pennsylvania to nab the rights to produce the show, of which he was a fan. It later produced the all-male version, too, and the current incarnation features a cast of two men and three women.
"The cast is blending so well together," Mr. Misko said.
Even though Corner Bistro has often staged "Nunsense," he added, the musical comedy always feels fresh.
"It's a show you can see over and over," he said.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org, @cheaneyTT on TwitterIf you go
Where: Corner Bistro Theater, 76 S. Main St., Carbondale
When: Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., and Sunday, 2 p.m.
Details: Tickets are $20, but audience members will receive $2 off their tickets if they use the code word "Sister Amnesia" when purchasing. For reservations, call 570-282-7499.
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