Last Saturday, February 20th, Kimberly Richards was back in Pittsburgh teaching her class titled Sister’s Easter Catechism: Will My Bunny Go To Heaven? and schooling the audience on where the traditions of this holiday season derive from.
Sister opens the show at City Theatre’s Lester Hamburg Studio in a manner reminiscent of an opening monologue of a late night show as she delivers a series of jokes and stories. She talks about the current Pope (whom she may have a crush on?) and begins to engage the audience with questions about Catholic beliefs such as, just as the title of the show suggests, will your bunny go to Heaven? She does all of this standing in a very convincing recreation of a classroom including desks and pictures of famous Catholics such as John F. Kennedy. The desks are not simply for show, any latecomers to the show were promptly scolded for their tardiness and sat in the front of the class. Tardiness is not the only rule enforced by Sister; low cut tops are unacceptable and covered by tissues or bibs while holding hands and other forms of PDA are swiftly broken up.
Once Sister has introduced herself and loosened up the audience, she dives into her lesson of the Easter season. Sister covers the Catholic calendar and Easter traditions in a manner that will give anyone feelings of nostalgia of time in a classroom. After a few question-answer sessions (raising your hand is definitely required) the audience then has time to review their notes before the “test”. The evaluation portion of the show is more of a game show than it is a nerve racking test.
Many of the audience was obviously raised Catholic and may not have been in attendance for an actual lesson as they were to participate and be entertained. For someone who was not raised Catholic, the lessons proved to be both educational and a source of laughter. Richards shows great ability in being able to deliver her material while continuously engaging with the audience members and making sure the intimate classroom atmosphere is upheld.
With over ten years of catechisms under her belt, Richards is a charming performer and commands the audience’s attention as both an educator and entertainer. Although the subject matter revolves around knowledge and traditions of the Catholic faith, it is wildly entertaining for everyone including the “pagans” and “publics” as Sister refers to them. Richards has presented hundreds of these lessons over the years and has been raising money to support aging nuns in the convents. As of this year, she has raised over $300,000 for the cause. As one part Bob Hope, one part The Price Is Right, and a sprinkle of educational material, Sister’s catechism is a wonderful experience that is perfect for the Easter season.
More shows have been added through March 20th! Get your tickets here.
A special thank you to City Theatre for the complimentary tickets.