“Meshuggahnuns” is the fifth installment of Dan Goggin’s Nunsense series — a safari into ecumenical silliness that this time places the nuns on a cruise ship, the USS Golden Delicious. The cruise was designed as an interfaith journey where, each week, a different religion is featured in a musical comedy. This week, however, all of the “Fiddler on the Roof” cast has fallen ill except for Howard Liszt (Richard Frederick), the nice Jewish man playing Tevye.
So, since there’s no supporting cast to lift him onto the roof, Howard enlists the help of Reverend Mother (Amy L. Washburn) and Sisters Hubert (Cathleen Riddley), Amnesia (Mindy Stover) and Robert Anne (Diane Torres Koss), to create a vaudeville show that highlights the two faiths.
And that is the central plot of this show.
Not that it matters. The “Nunsense” musicals have never exactly been plot-heavy. So by having essentially no plot at all, “Meshuggahnuns” cuts directly to the chase and becomes a two-hour vaudeville show with religiously themed bits that, except for the intermission and bingo game, give the passengers on the ship (us) a wide ranging series of sketches with no more ambition than to entertain and paste smiles on the faces of the faithful.
It’s a formula that has worked for Goggin for the past quarter century, and in “Meshuggahnuns” it works just as well as always, charming the audience as only four slightly addled nuns and one confused Jewish actor can.