By Charles Busch
Starring Randy Roberts as the Mother Superior, with Kathleen Peace, Mimi McDonald, Joan O’Dowd, Nicole Nurenberg and Brandon Beach.
Directed by Larry Coen (Award -winning director of the Boston production)
NOTE TIME CHANGE: This production starts at 7 PM!
CAUTION! The Divine Sister Ahead at Red Barn Theatre
Red Barn Theatre, 319 Duval Street, Rear, proudly presents Charles Busch’s The Divine Sister, a gleefully demented comic homage to nearly every Hollywood film involving nuns, opening January 22. It even touches on DaVinci Code intrigue.
Female impersonator Randy Roberts stars as Mother Superior, taking his international renown to a heavenly plane. As Mother Superior he manages a swirling chaos of mystery, intrigue, holy miracles, surprising love interests, Russian dwarves and a sinister monk.
All the players are double cast. Roberts also plays his younger self, a vivacious redheaded Susan, girl reporter. Kathleen Peace plays Sister Acacius, a hearty convent wrestling coach and Susans’s best friend Lily, also a girl reporter; Mimi McDonald plays an imposing Jewish atheist philanthropist and also plays a sensitive 10-year-old boy learning to swing a baseball bat at the convent school; Joan O’Dowd slyly plays a severe doctrinarian nun from the mother house in Berlin and an old Scottish charwoman; Nicole Nurenberg is a fresh-faced postulant flirting with miracles with a surprise counterpart; and Brandon Beach covers the action as a handsome reporter and also an albino monk. They all have secrets.
“The unraveling of those secrets involves enough plot threads to weave a center-hall tapestry. It’s a process that allows Mr. Busch to summon a host of cultural references to ecumenically themed entertainments. We segue from the sunny environs of The Singing Nun and The Sound of Music … and older happy-nun movies (The Bells of St. Mary’s) to the shadows of nun noir cinema and theater (Michael Powell’s Black Narcissus and the convent mysteries Agnes of God and Doubt)” wrote Ben Brantley in the New York Times.
The unholy hilarity is written by Tony-award-winning actor, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, director, and drag legend Charles Busch, star of the film Die Mommie Die and author of Broadway’s The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. “Cue the Hallelujah chorus! Mr. Busch is in peak form… his freshest, funniest work in years, perhaps decades.” – NY Times
The St. Louis Theatre Snob wrote “This peek behind cloister walls will provide you with plenty of rollicking over-the-topness, including send-ups of everything from Doubt and Agnes of God to The Sound of Music and The Da Vinci Code…..Just about everyone in the show has a past, and the revelations that come out one by one thicken the plot with the most entertaining turn of events. I can’t even tell you. You just have to see it for yourself.”
Larry Coen came from Boston directs the Red Barn production. His direction of The Divine Sister in Boston’s Speakeasy Theater won him a Norton Award. And his previous productions have proved playful and light in a way that critics adore.
Rick Worth and Gary McDonald collaborate on the set for this play. Costumes are created by Christopher Peterson, known locally for his Eyecons impersonation show at La Te Da and Carmen Rodriguez. Lighting design is by Jules Conn.
The Divine Sister is filled to the brim with irreverent piety, outrageous sass and “R” rated humor. Don’t even tell the kids you saw it!
The Divine Sister, sponsored by Conch Color, opens Tuesday, January 22 and runs Tuesdays through Saturdays to February 23. NOTE TIME CHANGE! This production starts at 7 PM. This show, with its provenance and a cast heavy in popular local performers will sell out quickly, so reserve your seats early. Opening night includes a party catered by Small Chef at Large, and mingling with the cast!
Talk to the box office about group prices and the very special “Dinner and a Show” with the Pier House HarbourView Café.