Sept. 30, 2000
Kane County Chronicle
There is no such thing as a habit in Late Nite Catechism
By Judy Reinert
Bring a pocket full of tissues.
Tears of uproarious laughter will flood your socks as you take in Late Nite Catechism at Aurora’s Copley Theatre.
You, the audience, make up the class for Late Nite Catechism. If you attended Catholic school for even a day, you’ll know where you are the second you walk into Sister’s classroom.
"I know you want to be here as much as you want to be in traffic school," sister says to her adult students who are there to learn about the church- or refresh their memories before taking an important step-like becoming a Baptismal or Confirmation sponsor:
"Why do we have Baptism?" Sister asks. Eventually, after several Catholics screw up the answer, we learn the sacrament removes original sin form our souls, ‘a big black stain so stubborn that you can’t even ‘Shout it out.’"
Regardless of your religion beliefs, the show is for everyone. It brings back school days for me. Catholic and "the publics" through a brilliant, well-written script and flawless acting by Mary McHale, one of three actors who play "Sisters."
"How many are Catholics?" Sister asks. "You, what’s your name?" "Tom," he replies.
"Thomas!" she corrects. "Stand up. Hands out of you pockets, Thomas, heaven only knows what you’re doing in there."
She goes to the Bible reading "publics" for the evolution of man answer. "Well, Sister, I think the family of Adam & Eve multiplied because there was a sister…
"What!?!" she squeals in shock. "What kind of dysfunctional family are we talking about here?!! Sit down."
The lesson flies with quips jetting through the air like May flies by the river. There’s not a dull second in this hilarious work penned by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan and superlatively performed by Mary McHale. Never does she come close to breaking character, and astoundingly, as she goes through the audience, she never forgets a name. Brilliant.
"Things have changed," Sister laments. Gleefully, she brings forth one of her artistic creations. A stool with a fan back made up of broken rulers. Smiling, reflecting, Sister gazes at one of her many, may stool. "Ah, I remember each one and whose hand I broke in on," she says.
Turning to her adult students, Sister sighs. "But you learned, didn’t you? You learned."
Far funnier than Nunsense, Late Nite Catechism is a brilliant production in every way.