BWW Reviews: Educational and Fun SISTER'S EASTER CATECHISM at New Century Theatre
Don't be late. Don't chew gum. Don't touch your partner. And for heaven's sake, cover your cleavage, unless you want to be scolded by Sister. For the uninitiated and non-Catholics, Sister's Easter Catechism: Will My Bunny Go To Heaven? will surely teach you a thing or two and put a smile on your face.
The show is an interactive comedy that is the newest addition to the Late Nite Catechism series. Starring award-winning veteran actress Kimberly Richards as "Sister," this "holy hilarious" one woman show answers the season's time worn questions including "Why isn't Easter on the same day every year like Christmas?" and other mysteries of the Catholic calendar.
Sister's Easter Catechism is the fourth in the series of plays written by Maripat Donovan, whose Late Nite Catechism franchise has played more than 40,000 performances in front of 10 million audience members in over 250 countries worldwide. An Outer Critics Circle Award and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award Nominee, it relies heavily on audience interaction and participation.
There are two audiences for this show: Catholic and non-Catholic. If you're among the former, or you just grew up that way, this light-hearted comedy will remind you of all the Sundays you spent kneeling, confessing and doing penance, and likely delight you whether it be from the question if your pets will go to Heaven or being scolded lightly for showing up late to the "class." (Beware, Sister expects $1 for every late comer, so show up on time!)
If you're a non-Catholic, you'll likely chuckle at jokes about being Popeless while learning such things as which sins are venial or mortal. After a lecture on the Easter calendar by the Sister in Act I, she takes questions from the class and tests for Catholic knowledge in Act II. Study up and you will likely be rewarded with a chocolate Easter egg or set of Peeps. One lucky winner even received a Jack & Jackie Kennedy holy card.
Richards is every bit the nun in this show. She embodies all the time-worn stereotypes you have heard, and teaches you a few things through stories and jokes. After growing up in Catholic school and acting in Late Night Catechism series for over 10 years, Richards doesn't miss a beat. The night I attended, Richards' pupils ran the gamut from a woman who was carrying her First Communion book from 1958 to a non-Catholic ("Thank God," said she) who was just not willing to play along and rudely got up from the front row and paraded her party out in the midst of the first act. Once the door swung closed behind them, Richards continued, "I thought they'd never leave!"
Presented by Hennepin Theatre Trust, Sister's Easter Catechisim: Will My Bunny Go To Heaven? continues Wednesdays through Sundays at the New Century Theatre in Minneapolis until it closes Easter Sunday, March 31. Student/educator rush is available for all performances. Groups are welcome. This show's a nice way to round out the Holy season for your family or church group.