Holiday-themed improv comedy in Beaver Creek |

Holiday-themed improv comedy in Beaver Creek

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – It’s an unpredictable evening of improv comedy when “Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold” takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC) in Beaver Creek.

Sister, played by actress Nonie Newton-Breen, will perform a two-hour, one-woman comedic production. Based on the popular Late Nite Catechism series originated by playwright Maripat Donovan, Sister’s Christmas Catechism blends holiday music and themes with a heavy dose of ad-libbing and audience interaction.

The VPAC will be transformed into Sister’s Catechism classroom, complete with a blackboard, alphabet charts, bulletin boards and more with audience members acting as Sister’s “pupils” and asked to help Sister solve the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages – whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? (“We know that Mary used the frankincense and myrrh as a sort of potpourri – they were in a barn after all,” Newton-Breen says). The performance is created as it goes and will appeal to people of all faiths.

To help solve the evening’s mystery, Sister will roam through the aisles at the VPAC asking her “pupils” to answer various questions. For incorrect answers, or, for those audience members that attempt to give Sister some sass, the penalty will be public humiliation of the most hilarious kind and gum chewers beware: she’s looking for you.

In the second act, Sister will creates a living nativity scene on stage, unlike any that has ever been seen, complete with Mary, Joseph, an ox, a donkey and the three Magi – all cast from the audience, with costumes (bathrobes, lamp shades, bed sheets and more) provided by Sister.

Newton-Breen, who hails from a large Irish-Catholic mob in Chicago, honed her comedy skills at the dinner table then, later at Chicago’s famed Second City Theatre where she learned to “write on her feet.” Newton-Breen earned an Emmy for writing and performing “Oh, Art!” for PBS and has been playing Sister at venues across the country for the past eight years.

Tickets for “Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold” are $40 and are available online at, by calling 970-845-TIXS (8497) or in person at the box office in Beaver Creek.

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