Yesterday I decided to check out PTE’s new play, the Savannah Disputation, dubbed “a comedy made in heaven!” When I read that the New York Times called it “a Very Theological Episode of the Golden Girls”, I knew I had to check this one out.
Part of this play’s appeal was definitely in PTE’s cozy and endearing space on the third floor of Portage Place. I’m always amazed at the little pockets of culture and entertainment that pop up everywhere in this city, and PTE is no exception.
The basis of this play is religion, pure and simple. A pair of spinster Catholic sisters living together in Savannah are visited by a pink-clad young woman claiming to preach the true word of God. The young missionary attempts to show the sisters, Mary and Margaret, that they are not true Christians by pointing out the fallacies of the Catholic faith. (Hello, but where does it actually reference purgatory in the Bible?)
Mary, played brilliantly by Sharon Bakker, is the strong and angry sister complete with a dose of acerbic wit, and she wastes no time tossing the missionary Melissa out on her butt. Margaret, on the other hand, is the quieter, nicer and more susceptible sister who begins to question her faith.
Thus Mary invites her priest and Melissa the missionary for dinner one night and what ensues is an evening of zingy one-liners and insights into theology. Along the way of course, they learn some things about each other and themselves while finding their place in the universe.
Fast-paced and quirky, it’s all just a lot of fun.
The Savannah Disputation runs until October 31 at Prairie Theatre Exchange. Call 942-5483 for tickets.