Dec 04

Commiserating in Catholicism: Sister’s Christmas Catechism

"Sister" Denise Fennell, photo credit: EEI.

Sister’s Christmas Catechism by Maripat Donovan with Jane Morris and Marc Silvia, Stoneham Theatre, 11/25/11-12/23/11 (in repertory with The Nutcracker),  http://www.stonehamtheatre.org/holidayshows2011.html.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Stoneham, MA) “How many of you used to get hit with a wooden spoon?” deadpans Sister (Denise Fennell) in the middle of the one-woman show, Sister’s Christmas Catechism.  Hands shoot up in the audience, the owners near tears with laughing.  “We used to run as soon as my mom reached for the drawer.”

The audience reaction should seem sad.  Such a statement feels more at home in the setting of a support group.  Yet through Fennell’s deft handling of the subject-matter, it often is funny.  Sister’s Christmas Catechism is filled with ad-libbed material that tap-dances on the most sensitive spots of the recovering Catholic psyche, and it takes Fennel’s sharp comic timing and extreme “been-there-done-that” sensitivity to pull it off. Continue reading

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