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April 18, 2003 - Image 63

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-04-18

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Kenny Morris may not have encoun-
tered meshuggah (nutty) nuns as he
pursued his acting career, but he cer-
tainly has met fiddlers on the roof.
When he comes to the Meidow
Brook Theatre to appear in the latest
comedy written by Dan Goggin, he'll
be entering new territory with nuns and
be on familiar ground with a fiddler.
Morris takes on the character of
Howard in the new play Meshuggah-
Nuns!, the latest installment in the
Nunsense series of musical comedies.
The plot has Howard joining the
women on an ocean liner as he
assumes the role of Tevye for a ship-
board production of

Catholic or Jewish," Goggin says.
"You are not hurting or hating. You
are just laughing."
Morris, who has appeared in region-
al theater with Fiddler on the Roof, has
been on BroadWay in Les Miserables
and with the national and internation-
al companies of Sunset Boulevard,

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat and Jolson — The Musical.
He worked in Ann Arbor and
Grand Rapids with David Cassidy in
Joseph and at the Fisher Theatre in
Detroit with Mike Burstyn in Jolson.
"I think the Jewish community is going
to have a lot of fun with Meshuggah-
Nuns!," says Morris, who recently was
cast in an episode of TV's Third Watch
and in the film Title to Murder.
"I've had a number
Fiddler on the Roof,
of Jewish parts, and I
and it's all very remi-
relate to my Jewish
niscent of the three
heritage through art."
times Morris has
The actor studied
toured in the shtetl-set
theater at the
University of North
"I've always been an
Carolina and moved
admirer of Dan
to New York City
Goggin," says the 40ish
after completing his
Morris, part of the pro-
program. He went on
duction that runs April
to classes at Circle in
23-May 18. "His come-
the Square, where his
dies have outrageous
classmates included
humor mixed with lots
The cast of "Meshuggah-Nuns!"
Kevin Bacon and
of love, truth and sweet-
Ken Olin.
ness. This is a very lively production."
"Part of my research for Jewish parts
The new play finds the Little Sisters
includes talking to my mom and
of Hoboken embarking on a water
thinking about the way my grandpar-
adventure as they take a vacation
ents- lived in New York," says Morris,
cruise to the Holy Land and suddenly
whose favorite leisure activity is going
find themselves starring in a show.
to the theater. "With the popularity of
They agree to pitch in for the original
Jewish roles, I think I'm actually
cast members who suddenly take ill,
becoming state-of-the-art."
joining the only healthy performer,
Morris, who is single, supplements
Morris' character.
his acting career by working with
Goggin, a Michigan native and
computers and taking on word pro-
Catholic school graduate who also is
cessing assignments.
directing, has included his continuing
"I think of moving to non-theatrical
characters, Reverend Mother, Sister
work as switching from a musical to a
Mary Amnesia and the rest of the gang. straight play," jokes the singing actor.
The cast includes Kathy Robinson,
"I also think of computers as more of
who is reprising her role as Reverend
a meditative profession."
Mother from Nunsense and Nunsense
— Suzanne Chessler
Musical director Leo P. Carusone has
worked with Goggin on all of his hits.
Since starting with Nunsense in
Meshuggah-Nuns! runs April 23-
1983, Goggin has watched his come-
May 18 at the Meadow Brook
dies gross more than $300 million
Theatre on the campus of
worldwide. Previous comedies in the
Oakland University. Call for
series have included a down-home
show times. Meet-the-Artist
theme with Sister Amnesia's Country
Talkbacks with the audience will
Western Nunsense Jamboree and cele-
be held after each preview per-
brated the holidays with Nuncrackers.
formance, April 23-25, and after
Meshuggah-Nuns! f i nds commonali-
the Sunday matinees on April 27,
ties between Jews and Catholics in the
May 4 and May 11. $19-$38.
midst of the humor.
(248) 377-3300.
"When you're laughing, you're not

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