The stars of Nunsense at the Grand Cove Estates Caddyshack are, clockwise from top left: Christine Osmond as Sister Mary Leo, Dorothy Campbell as Sister Mary Amnesia, Mary Poirier as Sister Mary Hubert, Claire Castle as Sister Mary Regina, and Laura Cavalier as Sister Mary Robert Anne.The Caddyshack, Grand Cove Estates
Fri. June 8 and Sat. June 9 – 7:30 p.m.
(519) 238-5043 for tickets ($7.50)

Story and photo by Casey Lessard

The scene: you open the freezer to discover the bodies of four nuns, and you don’t call the police. Why? Because you put them in there after burying 48 others. Sound macabre? It’s actually the setting of a musical comedy being performed at Grand Cove Estates June 8 and 9. The bodies are in the freezer because the convent in Hoboken has run out of cash from burying the sisters – and buying a VCR.
Priorities, right? Now, the remaining sisters need to raise money to bury the four sitting in the freezer, and that’s where the fun begins.
“We were looking for something special,” says director Jerry Andrews. “We have a lot of talent in ladies. Getting guys to come out on stage is very difficult. So I thought we needed a show that had ladies in a lot of the parts. I’ve seen Nunsense before, and I thought, what a wonderful chance to do it here.”
“Jerry’s wonderful,” says Claire Castle. “He gets me to do things I would never do. I’ve been everything from a stripper to Mother Superior now. That’s running the gamut.”
Andrews is known for pushing performers, but only in a positive way. He backs up his pressure with 30 years of community theatre.
“It’s been such a wonderful experience,” says musical director Sylvia Rees. “The level of what we are doing, Jerry keeps raising the bar, so there’s a challenge there.”
“I’ve done so many musicals,” Andrews says, “I thought, we need to do a book show (where we have to pay royalties). We’ve done a lot of cabaret style shows. This is our first entry into a book show. This one gave more opportunities for people. Stretching them a little. A lot of dialogue.”
It’s tough work, but the payoff is greater.
“People surprise themselves when they’ve never done this before and they make a success of it,” says Rees. “That’s a thrill to watch happen.”
“This has all been a very big surprise for me,” Castle agrees, “because I’ve never done things like this before. I’ve found out that I’m a ham at heart. I really, really like it. I used to be very shy and I’m doing things I never knew I could and would do. Everybody here is so willing to accept you. They back you 100% all the time.”
With a cast and crew consisting entirely of Grand Cove residents, Andrews says he loves to see the feedback actors, especially less experienced ones, get.
“There’s no duplicate for applause. I can’t get it as a director. It’s the artist on stage that gets the applause. Seeing it happen is what makes it for us.”