Adelaide Fringe 2013
Lucy Russell has dreamed of becoming a nun her whole life, but after researching the subject extensively she realises that life as a nun isn’t all about singing, dancing, marrying wealthy widows and stopping Nazis. This is a story told through an assortment of Broadway musical numbers, pop songs, and original ballads that all Catholic school victims and aspiring nuns can relate to.
The audience in this intimate bar is transfixed by Sister Mary Lucy’s uncanny impression of Julie Andrews as she sings ‘The Hills are Alive’. From there she tells us her story; of how she dreamed of becoming a nun from an early age, but the research proved fruitless—Wikipedia, Broadway musicals and performers, and even her own mother (a sock puppet who makes a brief appearance) all seem to discourage Lucy from realising her dream. Even when attending a Catholic high school one of the nuns foretells Lucy’s demise in hell. However, all is not lost—Julie Andrews is always there to encourage and support Lucy’s dream, which is when Lucy realises what she really wants to be…
The charismatic Lucy Russell is a diva belting out rousing musical numbers accompanied by pianist Peter Johns. She is witty and plays the naïve schoolgirl to perfection along with incomparable impressions of Julie Andrews, Broadway superstars (including Barbara Streisand), and Catholic school nuns.
This is a very tongue-in-cheek look at a how Christianity has permeated Broadway and Hollywood—at times the jokes were salacious but for the most part the satire had the audience laughing out loud. The script and characters were especially funny to the Catholic school ‘victims’, and the musical numbers directed at the Broadway aficionados.
Although the set was sparsely decorated with relics of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, Russell was the focal point—subtle lighting changes indicated the mood and the small disco ball spun to life during the upbeat numbers. It was a treat to have a live pianist as part of the show rather than a pre-recorded soundtrack as most performers are wont to do these days, especially as he occasionally interrupted Russell with his humble opinions, which for the most part voiced the audience’s thoughts, adding to the comedy.
Sister Mary Lucy is a light-hearted story of one girl’s dream of becoming a Catholic superstar and the tumultuous journey to realising this fantasy. With upbeat musical numbers to drive the story, a sock puppet mother, and Julie Andrews as a constant source of inspiration this is an unforgettable religious experience!