Late Nite Catechism | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Late Nite Catechism

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LATE NITE CATECHISM

Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan in Late Nite Catechism offer a critique of American Catholicism (our rituals, our guilts, our traditions, our guilts, our schools, our guilts--oy, our guilts) even a devout believer could love. No wonder the show has been such a popular success, both here and in regional productions around the country. Quade and Donovan do have a few sharp words about their Catholic upbringings, especially about Catholic schools, but even their harshest doses--aimed at (surprise!) authoritarian nuns--are sugarcoated. And if they weren't, the latest actress to take on the role of Sister, who treats everyone like an eight-year-old, would make them seem sweet. More Maria von Trapp than Sister Mary Ignatius, Rosie Newton explains it all for us with an air of sweet-voiced calm that contrasts sharply with the way actresses have played Sister in the past, as a harpy in nun's clothing. The funny thing is that Newton's nice-nun demeanor only makes the play's moments of sisterly sadism--as when she calls audience members to account for being late--all the more delicious. Ivanhoe Theater, 750 W. Wellington, 773-975-7171. Open run: Fridays-Saturdays, 7:30 PM; Sundays, 2:30 PM. $23-$25; $8 for the show on Friday, May 29, in celebration of the production's fifth anniversary. --Jack Helbig

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): theater still/ uncredited.

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