Arms poised in a port de bras, Sister Mary Leo, the novice nun, glides across the stage with the use of pink Heelys, the footwear of a common ten-year-old hipster that allows one to roll across a room effortlessly. This is just one of the delightfully humorous scene’s of the Timbers Supper Club production of “Nunsense.” The dinner theater venue offers audience members a three-course dinner followed by a musical performance. Located just four miles away from UCSB, in the discreet, if not difficult to find Winchester Canyon location, the restaurant is set up to entertain and please all.
Before the show begins guests are invited to sit down and are immediately offered warm bread from their server. Dinners can be preordered with a choice of two appetizers and four entrees. For my appetizer I ordered a wilted spinach salad with a warm mandarin dressing followed by my entree the Timbers Beef Stroganoff described as tender strips of Filet Mignon with fresh button mushrooms and Spanish onions in a delectable sherry and sour cream sauce. Served over steamed egg noodles and sautŽed seasonal vegetables. The menu was promising, however the meal was mediocre. The serving of salad was too large and although the slivered almonds added a nice crunch to the greens, the mandarins lacked freshness. The Beef Stroganoff was beautifully plated, but unfortunately the meat was stringy and the mushrooms overly cooked. However, the seasonal vegetables served in thin slices were tasty, and balanced the heaviness of the meal. For dessert, the supper club offered a blueberry pie with a crumbled crust complemented by vanilla ice cream. The classic dessert was satisfying in its simplicity. Although the dinner failed in it’s gourmet potential, the show more than satisfied my taste.
The production opened with five nuns, explaining with melody that a tragic incident had occurred to the Sisters of Hoboken. The cook, aptly named Sister Julia, Child of God, accidentally poisoned the 52 ill-fated nuns. The only five remaining sisters explained to the audience that this show was created to raise funds to help burry their fellow nuns. Although the opening tale is rather dark, the performance was all lightness. With a smart sense of the intimate theater setting, Peter McCorkle directed the musical to appear perfectly tailored to the dinner-going audience. With the Mother Superior refraining to make a joke until one of the last acts about how nuns in their habits resemble penguins, the sisters were robust with humor. The nuns’ antics were fueled by the forgetfulness of Sister Mary Amnesia (Julie Anne Ruggieri), the aspiring nun starlets Sister Mary Regina (Katie Thatcher) and Sister Robert Anne (Holly Ferguson) as well as wannabe ballerina nun Sister Mary Leo (Kelly Ary). All actresses exuberated great skill of dance, performance and song. With the characters enthusiastic energy and their faces free of makeup the actresses’ portrayal of nuns was convincing, genuine and fun. The quirky songs bursting with gusto never went out of tune with the musical direction of David Potter. An intimate hilarious performance with singing and dancing nuns, that can all be watched while enjoying a glass of Chardonnay, local entertainment does not get much better than the Timbers Supper Club’s production of “Nunsense.”
Timbers Supper Club is located in close proximity to UCSB and a night of dinner theater would be the perfect outing with a visit from the grandparents or parents. However it can be a little pricey, as a single ticket costs $45-75 which includes an appetizer, entree, dessert and the performance. “Nunsense” shows continue until March 18.