'Til Death Do Us Part | Theater | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

'Til Death Do Us Part

She charges fees to those who arrive late to class. She hands tissues to women wearing low-cut blouses so they can "cover up"; those with bosoms so ample "you can park a car in there" are given a plastic lobster bib to tie around their necks.

She knows Presbyterians are present because she can "smell them."

But Sister has her "fun" side, too: ribbing the Holy Father; hoping to free Katie Holmes from the "clutches of Scientology"; mocking those who live in Arizona trailer parks; and believing in UFOs and extraterrestrials.

Best of all is her take on Hell, which she compares to "having a ticket to Cher's final tour, but you get there, you can't see the stage, you can't hear and you're seated between Satan and Osama bin Laden."

What would Jesus do?

He'd rush out and beg, borrow or break the Seventh Commandment to buy a ticket for 'Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3.

This third production in Maripat Donovan's LNC franchise is a hilarious romp through all things sacramental and sinful, and you don't have to be a recovering Catholic to enjoy its mass appeal. Don't know your Annunciation from your elbow? Not to worry: Sister explains it all for you.

And brother, this Sister is one mad mother, played by improvisational tsunami Kimberly Richards, whose ability to act and ad-lib and crucify Catholicism is heaven-sent. Sister takes us through the journey from marriage to death and everything in between -- including children, grandchildren, fighting, money woes and the proper way to greet a priest who arrives to administer last rites.

Warning: You might die laughing.

The show requires audience participation, and on opening night, Sister's students were wide open to it. She tossed out questions -- "Who was Galileo?" "What is a sacrament?"-- and apt pupils received prizes, sometimes something so unusual it came with a warning: "I better not see it on eBay!"

Smoothly directed and designed by Tony Ferrieri, 'Til Death Do Us Part is a laugh-out-loud liturgy, a whirlwind of one-liners, zany humor and real theology as educational as it is entertaining. (Sister's take on the future of nuns is, actually, quite touching).

The show slows during the second-act spoof on The Newlywed Game. Using couples plucked from the audience, Sister asks funny questions ("Would you rather have wings at Hooters or wings in Heaven?"), and contestants sitting back-to-back answer by raising their paddles. (On opening night, Sister dismissed a lesbian couple because they weren't "married," though she let one of the gals be scorekeeper.) It's funny, but the gimmick runs too long -- (almost) as long as The Last Supper.

At least we get lots of dessert.


'Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3 continues through July 26. City Theatre, 1300 Bingham St., South Side. 412-431-2489 or www.citytheatre.org

Ephemeral art made at Chalk Fest
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Ephemeral art made at Chalk Fest

By Pam Smith