“The Divine Sister,” a play about a Mother Superior living in a Pittsburgh convent in 1966 (played by a homosexual), opened last night at the SoHo Playhouse in New York. Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on all the hullaballoo:
Charles Busch likes to dress as a woman. The gay playwright and actor once confessed that “the most beautiful hair, makeup and costume can’t make a man convincing as a woman. It has to come from a lot of observation….” Looks like he’s mastered the art, though his effort at portraying a nun suggests he’s had little in the way of observation. “I was born Jewish,” he says, “but without any kind of religious training at all.”
Busch got his big break when his “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom” ran Off-Broadway in the late 1980s. But that play was located in a “crack-infested” neighborhood where the cast would show up only to find “a nude woman onstage, cracking eggs on her private parts.” Now he’s progressed to the point where in “The Divine Sister” he makes “some good little jabs here and there about the doctrinaire parts of religion.” Not just any religion—his target is Roman Catholicism.
Busch plays Mother Superior and “has to deal with a young postulant who is experiencing ‘visions,’ sexual hysteria among her nuns…and a former suitor intent on luring her away from her vows.” The suitor wants to make a film about the postulant “who sees holy visions (most recently, the face of St. Clare in an underwear stain).”
The New York Post said that the “convoluted plot is merely an excuse for shameless puns” and “below-the-Borscht-belt jokes.” But the New York Times loved the way the play makes fun of films like “The Song of Bernadette,” branding such reverential fare “aggressively family-oriented.” The gay reviewer also questions priests and nuns, wondering “What are these people hiding behind their habits and cassocks and cloister walls?”
Homosexuals will no doubt show up in droves. Why not? The play mocks Catholicism, is fixated on sex and is scatological to boot.