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Dinner Theater is a hit: Luverne library sells out its annual event

The Luverne Public Library hosted its 8th Annual Dinner Theater Tuesday night. The performance for Nunsense II was a sold out event. Production for the play began in early February. Journal Photo/Shayla Terry

By: Shayla Terry

Dan Coggin’s Nunsense II sprang to life on Tuesday night during the Luverne Public Library’s 8th Annual Dinner Theater.

The event, which was sold out, is a big fundraiser for the library.

“The dinner theater is the only yearly fundraiser done for the library each year,” library director Kathryn Tomlin said. “It has become an event that is anticipated by the community, since it is a little taste of an off-Broadway production.”

The money from ticket sales is used to pay any expenses associated with the production, and the remaining balance is used to fund e-books and children’s programming.

Along with dinner, attendees are also able to participate in a silent auction of various collector’s items.

“The silent auction is the main fund raiser for the Friends of the Library,” Tomlin said. “They raise money to provide additional items that would otherwise be hard to obtain.”

Casted as the five starring nuns were: Holly Lester as Sister Mary Regina, Mother Superior; Starla Jones as Sister Mary Hubert, Mistress of Novices; Melissa Mikul as Sister Robert Anne; Sandy Walker as Sister Mary Paul; and Ashley Davis as both Sister Mary Leo, and the puppet, Sister Mary Annette.

“It was just fantastic to see everybody come out from the community,” Jones said. “For everyone to come together and pool their talents, it was just a great time.”

The Dinner Theater had already featured the prequel to Nunsense II some time ago. Jones says that the choice to perform the play was influenced by the events steady contributors and producers Dr. Pat Walker, and his wife Sandy.

“It was a play that they did about 30 years ago for a similar event, and thought that it would work well for this,” Jones said.

The play focuses on the five nuns celebrating the success of their first performance, by hosting a second show to thank all of their supporters. Things went awry when Sister Mary Paul wins the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, and Franciscans come to claim her as one of their own nuns.

The cast began practicing for their grand performance in early February.

“I think the whole story line of nuns coming together was interesting,” Jones said. There was a little drama, a little sadness, and hopefully a lot of fun for the audience, because it was a lot of fun for us.”

The night also featured an orchestra, and the Belles and Beaus of Crenshaw County served dinner.

“Overall, the dinner theater [Tuesday night] was a huge success,” Tomlin said.  “We enjoyed a great meal, and great entertainment in a beautifully decorated setting.

We are blessed to have so many people who willingly and generously support our efforts at the Luverne Public Library. We are very thankful for all of them.”