I really wanted to love Nunsense at the Muny. But, alas, it is only a poor man's 'Book of Mormon.'
The premise itself - a talent show to raise money for some dead nuns stuffed in a freezer - is ridiculously awesome. But I wish there was more of that 'talent show' and less explanation of who the nuns are, their relationships with each other, them freaking out about how bad the show is going, etc. In fact, some of the best scenes we're from the show-within-a-show - the quiz show in the beginning of the first act, the understudies Chicago-esque number, Sister Amnesia and the puppet, for example.
The first act went on way too long. Most of the songs weren't as funny as I'd hoped (I was hoping to get a few laughs from 'Growing Up Catholic' but alas, it was slow and sentimental). I certainly didn't expect the musical to feature an elaborate ensemble tap number, and while I loved it, it did feel a bit out of place (but not more so than all the ballet, particularly the Flying Nun scene).
Yes, I laughed. Yes, I was ecstatic to see Phyllis Smith in the show. The jokes about Catholics were awesome. The jokes about other musicals were okay. I did feel like some of the jokes were too mature - as in, my grandma would have found them hilarious - while others were too adult. And it's hard to mix references to Cher and Sally Field with a 'that's what she said' joke. Perhaps they were trying to appeal to too many audiences - young, old, Office fans, Catholics, non Catholics.... And I'm not sure it worked.
All in all, an enjoyable show (made more tolerable by the fact that it was only 65 degrees outside). I know there are many versions of Nunsense, adapted for different theaters or productions, and I'm eager to see other versions before I write-off the entire musical itself.