Theatre Mirror Reviews"The Divine Sister"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |



"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2012 by Tony Annicone

"The Divine Sister"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at 2nd Story Theatre is Charles Busch's "The Divine Sister". The show is a gleefully twisted comic homage to the sometimes silly, one-time ubiquitous genre, the nun movie. The show evokes such films as "The Song of Bernadette", "The Bells of St. Mary's", "The Singing Nun" and "Agnes of God". "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 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. Director Ed Shea infuses this show with many comic moments, clever shtick and award winning performances from his nine member cast that left the audiences roaring with laughter from the start of the show to the very end.

Ed is aided in his task by costume designer Ron Cesario and set designer Trevor Eliot whose ingenious turntable set keeps the action of the show in constant motion. John Michael Richardson delivers a tour-de-force performance as Mother Superior. He commands the stage in all his scenes. John Michael delivers a laugh a minute with his clever repartee and his fantastic interaction with each and every cast member in this show. There are references to several past nun movies including "The Singing Nun", "The Sound of Music", The Bells of St. Mary" and a couple of plays about nuns including "Doubt" and "Agnes of God". Mother Superior has a funny scene playing the guitar like Maria in "Sound of Music" as well as a funny tableau with the entire cast in a Von Trapp like song. She also was a girl reporter like Hildy in "His Girl Friday" played by Rosalind Russell. Mother Superior solves the mysteries around her, restoring faith in those close to her. John Michael is a hoot in this role in this fantastic satire.

Ed gives all his cast their moments to shine in this show. All the nuns have hidden secrets. Margaret Melozzi plays the extremely wealthy dowager, Mrs. Levinson. When the character is happy, she wretches which is a laugh out loud moment. Margaret also plays a lisping ball player who adores the Mother Superior for being kind to him. Jim Sullivan is marvelous as Jeremy, a man from her past. His lines are risque and hilarious at the same time. Ed weaves the show together so the audience learns what happened in Mother Superior's past. Jim also plays Brother Venerius.This high energy show exhilarates the audience with the expert line delivery of the cast. Other cast members that shine are Rae Mancini as Sister Acacius, the convent wrestling coach,Janine Weisman as Sister Walburga, a recent transplant from Berlin who has a terrific German accent and Ashley Kenner, the young and naive postulant. She is very demure in the first act but then after a startling revelation she becomes a wild child. Also playing the children in flashbacks are Jeff Church, Dillon Medina and Valerie Westgate. They deliver hilarious portrayals in this show that have to be seen to be believed. So for a farce that is not only hilarious but cleverly written and performed, be sure to catch "The Divine Sister" before the box office runs out of tickets. Tell them Tony sent you.

"The Divine Sister" (20 April - 20 May)
2ND STORY THEATRE
@ 28 Market Street, WARREN RI
1(401)247-4200

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |