Martinsville, Virginia


Singing Nuns Take Over Local Restaurant

The nuns of “Nunsense: The Musical,” an upcoming show by the Patriot Players of Patrick Henry Community College, sang to a packed house at Wild Magnolia in Martinsville on Thursday night while taking orders and delivering food.

Despite inclement weather and the bitterly cold temperatures, Devin Pendleton, artistic director and director of programs for the Patriot Players, said he was impressed by the crowd. He said at one point, there was a 10-to-15 minute wait for tables.

“There were many patrons who came out and knew it was a ‘Nun-raiser,’ but there were a few who didn’t and said it was pleasant surprise,” Pendleton said. “I loved that kids and members of the community were there enjoying themselves, and most people stayed the entire time we served.”

Pendleton said the original idea for the “Nun-raiser” fundraising event came from Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Manhattan, N.Y., which is a diner that features singing waiters and variety shows. After meeting with Wild Magnolia manager Mike Ashley and owner Will Pearson to pitch “Nun-raiser,” Pendleton said it all came together.

Business is pretty light at Wild Magnolia on Thursdays, Pendleton said he was told by management. “So, holding this event helped us to raise money, and it helped them create some traffic on an otherwise slow night,” he said. “It was our first time doing something like this, but we learned a lot.”

Stanleytown resident Tami Carroll said she had a great time with the singing nuns while visiting Wild Magnolia on Thursday.

“I didn’t know what was going on before I came, but I love it,” she said. “It was an absolutely fun night. I hope they do this again.”

Ashley said he’s already planning another collaboration with the Patriot Players, possibly for the summer.

“I think it was a lot of fun,” he said. “The customers really enjoyed the evening and so did the nuns. I think we have some real talent in this area that no one really knows about because those girls can sing. I’ll definitely consider planning another event with the Patriot Players.”

The Patriot Players waited tables for just three hours and were able to make $767.20 in tips alone.

“The funds we raised will go 100 percent toward future programming for the performing arts at PHCC,” Pendleton said. “We just want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting performing arts in our area.”

“Nunsense: The Musical” opens March 5-7 at 7 p.m. and on March 8 at 2 p.m. in Walker Fine Arts Theatre at PHCC. Tickets are $12. For groups of 10 or more, tickets can be purchased at the PHCC Switchboard for $10 per ticket.

To purchase tickets online, visit To find out more about the Patriot Players, check out