For playwright Charles Busch the concept for his play, "The Divine Sister," was nothing short of creative divine intervention.
In this, his ode to movies featuring nuns in starring roles (think Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews and Rosalind Russell) he managed to turn this wholesome 1960s fare "on its habit" for a lovingly wicked parody, portraying "The Divine Sister" role of Mother Superior himself in its original run.
Busch has tapped into Hollywood’s golden age funny bone with film efforts such as "Die, Mommie, Die!" and "Psycho Beach Party," bringing also his prowess as a playwright to the stage with "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom" and "The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife."
The Rage Monthly chatted with Busch regarding all-things sisterly and oh-so divine.
What is it you love about movies featuring nuns?
I grew up with no religious background at all. My only exposure to religion was through watching movies with religious themes on television. I was enraptured with the story of Christ; just mad for Jesus, and I was fascinated by any movie about nuns. They were either ethereal, beautiful nuns like Ingrid Bergman in "The Bells of St. Mary’s," or wacky, wise-cracking nuns like in "The Trouble With Angels."
And what was it that inspired you to take that love and turn it into your play "The Divine Sister?"
Every few years I get this intense desire to put on a play on a shoestring; that shoestring keeps getting more and more pricey. A few years ago, once again I had that urge.
I thought about what role would I love to play, and I immediately thought of being a very strict but loving and terribly grand Mother Superior. The wimple and robes are very flattering to an "older actress."
The Trouble With Angels is one of my favorite movies. Were you channeling Rosalind Russell when you were in the role?