By Charles Busch
October - November 2012
|After the enormous recent
string of successes at Off the Wall Theatre (Grey Gardens, Joseph and
the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Kiss of the Spider Woman to name
a few) one thing seemed clear, we needed to keep it classy. So cue the
organ, because here come the bawdy, salacious, and sometimes terrifying
nuns. Welcome to the madcap world of "The Divine Sister"
by Charles Busch.
The Divine Sister is a comic celebration of Hollywood films such as The Song of Bernadette, The Bells of St. Mary’s, and The Singing Nun and Sound of Music! St. Veronica’s indomitable Mother Superior leads us on this madcap trip through Tinseltown’s religiosity. The Divine Sister tells the story of St. Veronica's indomitable Mother Superior who is determined to build a new school for her Pittsburgh convent. Along the way, she has to deal with a young postulant who is experiencing "visions," sexual hysteria among her nuns, a sensitive schoolboy in need of mentoring, a mysterious nun visiting from the Mother House in Berlin, and a former suitor intent on luring her away from her vows. It’s miraculous, zany fun!
This was our fourth foray into the works of Charles Busch (Die Mommie Die and Psycho Beach Party were both sellouts). As always we turned to our resident Busch enthusiast Mark Hagen to bring our lead role of Mother Superior to life. Ironically, actor Jeremy C. Welter playing the role of Jeremy wooed him. Hagen and Welter previously starred together in alternating roles during "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane." Jocelyn Ridgley received raves in the 2012-13 season in both Closer and Trainspotting. She was back as the very imposing German nun Sister Walburga. Heather Reynolds returned to Off The Wall to put on the revved up habit of harsh New Yorker Sister Acacius. Barb Zaferos joined us once again as the widow Mrs. Levinson and for the first time Brianna Borouchoff graced our stage as the slightly off her rocker postulant Agnes. There were more surprises from there as nearly everyone took on different characters and personas.
Technical director David Roper suppled the set and lighting designs and director Jeremy C. Welter oversaw the production.