Late Nite Catechism: Holy Learning

 

Late-Nite-Catechism-squareIf you’re looking for some religious education without heavy-handed moralizing, then Late Nite Catechism is for you. This one-woman show, being performed at Trinity Repertory Company, features Colleen Moore as Sister, a no-nonsense nun who won’t tolerate any misbehavior in her classroom.

The 90-minute show features plenty of interaction between the nun and the audience, who are quizzed on a variety of subjects including the Immaculate Conception and stigmata. Sister handed out prizes, including glow-in-the-dark rosaries and figurines of Mary. There was also a discussion of various saints as well as an exploration of the afterlife — Heaven, Limbo, Purgatory and Hell.

Moore has a sharp wit and displays crack comic timing. When Sister references Mary Magdalene and Cain and Abel, she clearly knows what she’s talking about. According to the production notes, Moore spent 12 years studying with the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan’s dialogue pokes gentle fun at nuns who use rulers to discipline their students, as well as the inferiority of a public school education.

I approached Late Nite Catechism as a stranger in a strange land. Being Jewish, much of the terminology was alien to me. I’ve never been to a Catholic mass or a baptism and probably never will. Yet, I was able to appreciate the energy and joy of Moore’s performance and was intrigued by the experiences shared by members of the audience. Late Nite Catechism is probably best appreciated by those with a sense of humor about religion and its sometimes eccentric qualities.

Late Nite Catechism runs through June 12. Trinity Repertory Company. 201 Washington St. Providence. For tickets, call 401-351-4242.

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