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The Nunsense Collection: DVD Review

Aug 8th, 2013

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These musicals are silly fun, but is this standard-def set worth its purchase price....?

Kultur / 451 Minutes / 1997-2001 /Unrated / Street Date: June 25, 2013

Nunsense and its sequels included here – Nunsense 2: The Sequel, Nunsense 3: The Jamboree, and Nuncrackers – are rip-roaring, fan-beloved musicals that balance silliness and showmanship deftly. These ridiculous song-and-dance affairs are zippy, blindly saccharine affairs with bigger-than-life characters and toe-tapping tunes that are as  good as anything other melodramatic musicals of its era.

Yet even with Rue McClanahan, Vicki Lawrence, and even John Ritter involved with some of these productions, that unfortunate old adage pops up: it’s just not the same as being there, man. The women and men putting on these shows certainly give it their all, but as a standard-def DVD edition, The Nunsense Collection is more sporadically cute than it is consistently engaging.

But musicals like Nunsense have a built-in fan base, and a DVD box set like this one will certainly have innate appeal to that cross-section of the buying public. McClanahan is exceptional here – this writer must admit that he had no idea the Golden Girl had pipes so brassy! – and while the technical acuity of these discs leave a bit to be desired, if you remember loving Nunsense on stage and feel like revisiting its Hoboken-set charms, go right ahead. 

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