you thought it was safe to go back into the classroom, here comes
"Late Nite Catechism II" or "Sometimes We Feel Guilty Because We ARE
Maripat Donovan, who created the original "Catechism" 13 years
ago, has come up with the sequel, and she kicked it off herself when
the summer-long (at least) program opened at the playhouse July 11.
This time around, the accent is on penance and navigating the
circuitous route to heaven.
The new version isn't quite the howler the original was, but there
are some terrific comic moments. When Sister explains the concept of
miracles, for instance, she emphasizes that "finding a parking place
in Laguna Beach doesn't qualify as a miracle."
This time around, there is more interaction with the audience as
Sister encourages questions and reaches for a well-honed zinger in
response. And woe betide the "student" who precedes his question with
anything but "Sister..."
After insuring that her female questioners' blouses are properly
buttoned and their bare arms covered (ladies, raise your hands at
your own risk), Sister proceeds to set them straight on the path to
heaven, the Ten Commandments and those personages doomed to fire and
brimstone for eternity.
One such miscreant who received special sisterly attention is
Frank Sinatra, whose sexual escapades seem to have greased the slide
into the hot zone. Sister devotes a particularly extended segment
(one of the few apparently scripted portions of her show) to the
damnation of Old Blue Eyes.
She also comes up with a litany of "new sins," such as road rage,
excessive use of television, computer games or the Internet,
inappropriate entertainment on Sunday, and telling or listening to
dirty jokes. It would seem that heaven is going to be a pretty lonely
Laughs abound, but Sister appears more serious, and certainly more
judgmental this time around. And whether she reins for a full two
years, as her first show did, she'll be back in late November with
"Sister's Christmas Catechism, the Mystery of the Magi's Gold." Or,
as the publicity puts it, "CSI Bethlehem."