While it might seem like nuns ascended their kitsch pedestal around the time Whoopi Goldberg donned the black and white for Sister Act or when people started sliding their hands up the robes of boxing nun puppets, the sister craze actually started way before that. In December of 1985, Dan Goggin premiered Nunsense, a cabaret-style off Broadway play, at Cherry Lane Theater in New York City. Nunsense follows the Little Sisters of Hoboken after they return from their bingo night to discover that the cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, had accidentally poisoned 52 of the sisters with her botulism-laced vichyssoise.
To raise money for the sisters' burials, Reverend Mother Regina, Sister Mary Hubert, Sister Robert Anne, Sister Mary Leo and Sister Mary Amnesia stage a talent show in a local school gym, complete with tap dancing, ballet and singing.
Nunsense's wild popularity spawned a number of unholy offshoots, including: Nunsense II, The Second Coming; Nunsense Jamboree; Nuncrackers; Meshuggah-Nuns; Nunsensations!; Nunsense A-Men! and Nunset Boulevard.
Check out the original Nunsense, featuring a non-poisoned vichyssoise dinner, at Knock 'Em Dead dinner theater's new location off Parkcenter Boulevard. The show opens Friday, March 19, and runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through Saturday, April 17.
Friday, March 19-Saturday, April 17; 6:40 p.m. no dinner offered Thursdays, $16.50 adult, $13.50 students, seniors and military; 6:15 p.m. for dinner Friday and Saturday, $37.50; 7:40 p.m. no dinner Friday and Saturday, $18.50; Knock 'Em Dead Dinner Theater, 415 E. Parkcenter Blvd., 208-385-0021, kedproductions.org.