Orlando Fringe 2022 Review: 'Preacher's Kid'

Uplifting show dares to ask the gently radical question, “What is Christianity beyond forgiveness?”

As the daughter of a fifth-generation Protestant pastor, Sara Russell grew up in the pews of the Florida congregation her father founded, her life consisting of endless seven-day cycles revolving around weekly Sunday services. In this heartfelt memoir monologue, Russell shares amusing anecdotes from her sheltered childhood, from sacrificing frozen French fries for Lent to learning about the middle finger from Ferris Bueller, as well as less lighthearted stories about finding her religion again as an adult through the beauty of nature.

After lapsing in observance as a college arts student, the 9/11 attacks rekindled Russell’s Lutheran faith; then fertility struggles and a close friend’s criminal crisis severely tested it. Throughout it all, she tries to hold firmly onto the words she heard God speak to her as a child: “Good is on the way.”

Russell vividly evokes the comforting smells of burnt coffee in foam cups with her words, and the soothing sounds of old-fashioned hymns with her lovely singing voice, even for someone like me who grew up attending synagogue instead of church. Several of her segments need stronger endings, especially the abruptly adolescent finale. But those are easily overlooked flaws in an uplifting show that dares ask the gently radical question, “What is Christianity beyond forgiveness?”

Tickets and show info: Preacher's Kid

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