Time for a new comedy catechism lesson at the Golden Apple.
By Kay Kipling
Those who attended last summer’s Late Nite Catechism at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre may want to head back over to the theater for a holiday-themed version of the show, Sister’s Christmas Catechism, now playing.
It’s a less consistently amusing but still entertaining package tying together a few Christmas carols, a little background on the Blessed Virgin Mary, a living Nativity scene and a hunt for the Magi’s gold, which mysteriously disappeared from that stable (and from all Biblical records) during the to-do attending the birth of the baby Jesus. This time around the tough but loving Sister, played by Colleen Moore, is giving her class these lessons prior to the Christmas party they’re all looking forward to, and yes, she is dispensing prizes/presents once again to those audience members who cooperate.
The audience may be part of the reason this version of the show feels milder and slighter. Interaction is so important to this comedy; and the night that I attended the crowd, while willing to be entertained, was smaller and less vocal than the night I saw Late Nite Catechism. Moore is also a different presence as Sister; at times she felt a bit hesitant, but she was also capable of delivering both a good punch line and a feeling of genuine warmth towards her “students.”
Definitely the highlight of the show (which is under two hours including intermission) is the second act’s re-creation of the Nativity scene, with audience members being coaxed into coming to the stage and having themselves adorned with crazy costumes made from mostly everyday items to become stable animals, shepherds and sheep, and of course the three kings, without whom there would be no mystery. Solving the ‘crime” of the missing gold almost feels like an afterthought compared to the logistics of getting all these people properly dressed and posed for their group shot. The “volunteers” all displayed good sportsmanship.
Sister’s Christmas Catechism continues through Dec. 27 at the Golden Apple; call 366-5454 or go to thegoldenapple.com.