Kordazone Theatre takes on irreverent playwright Charles Busch
his month, the Kordazone Theatre will be presenting The Divine Sister, its fifth Charles Busch play and the 25th production for director Jeff Marontate.
Busch’s signature writing combined with Marontate’s directing style promises a funny, farcical romp. “[Jeff] is not usually into big, ornate sets. You’ll go see a Jeff Marontate show and you’ll find a lot of wooden cutouts and giant, silly items. He’s a big fan of camp and a big fan of dark humour, and it really shows,” said Matthew Froese, advertising co-ordinator for the play.
“I really enjoy doing broad, over-the-top, campy farce. It’s a lot of fun,” said Marontate. “Every year, we try to have a play that we consider edgy, campy. I suggested, ‘Why not The Divine Sister?’ I had read it, and we knew we loved Charles Busch, we knew his sense of humour, and we snatched it up as soon as we could.”
“He’s such a fun writer,” Froese said of Busch. “I’ve read the script a couple times now and I can’t understand how you couldn’t find the show funny.”
The Divine Sister is a comedy about a nun, Mother Superior, who is faced with too many troubles at St. Veronica’s convent school in Pittsburgh. While having to fundraise for a new convent, Mother Superior has to deal with a postulate that has visions and claims she can cure people and a scary nun who has been sent to investigate the troubles at the convent. But that’s not all— there is a long lost lover and a love child in the picture as well.
One question that’s haunting everyone’s mind is: Who is the Divine Sister? “Just when you think you know which one is the Divine Sister, the script twists and you find out you were wrong,” said Marontate.
In addition to the bountiful storyline, the play has a perfect cast lineup.
“Our ‘leading lady,’ so to speak, is a man. We follow Busch’s tradition in that,” said Marontate. “Christopher Lawrence-Menard is playing the role of Mother Superior. He’s done three of the drag parts in our Charles Busch plays in the past … [Tracey Atin] is playing the double-role of Mrs. Levinson, this rich, older widow, and little Timothy, one of the school boys … There’s cross-dressing both ways in this play … I think it’s fun when you’re able to show someone’s versatility by seeing them in more than one role.”
While not appropriate for children, The Divine Sister just may be the perfect light summer show.
“I’m hoping for full audiences and lots of laughter,” said Marontate. “It’s a great, fun parody of every nun movie you’ve ever thought of, every religious movie you’ve ever seen. There’s a bit of The DaVinci Code, a bit of Trouble with Angels, a bit of The Singing Nun— it’s all in there. It’s irreverent, it’s naughty, there’s some fairly coarse language, but it’s all very tongue-in-cheek and all meant for just a good laugh.”
The Divine Sister opens July 20 at Kordazone theatre (2520 Seminole Ave.). For tickets and showtimes, visit kordazone.com.