Though "Last Weeks" were recently advertised for the long-running Off Broadway comedy, Late Nite Catechism, the show has picked up steam at the box office and intends to run through June, if not beyond, according to producer Joe Corcoran.
This solo comedy, penned by Maripat Donovan and Vicki Quade, has been playing for three and a half years at the Theater at St. Luke's Church in midtown. Donovan, who plays an instructional nun called "Sister," left the show a year and a half ago, with Patty Hannon wearing the wimple ever since.
For her part, Donovan will open a five-week run of Catechism at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood, starting May 4 and officially opening on Mother's Day, May 9.
In Donovan and Quade's play, a nun teaches an adult catechism class to a roomful of "students" (the audience), with special emphasis placed on the lives of the Saints, cautious justification of corporal punishment, and ways Catholicism can be brought into everyday living.
Late Nite Catechism, directed by Patrick Trettenero, opened Off Broadway at St. Luke's Oct. 4, 1995. The raucous comedy has also been seen in successful productions around the USA, Canada and Australia. Donovan was born in Chicago and attended Catholic schools. While working as an actress in Chicago theater, she supported herself with a variety of jobs. In 1979 she opened her own construction company but returned to Chicago theater in 1985 as an understudy in Portrait of a Shiksa, a role for which she eventually earned a Jeff Citation for Best Supporting Actress.
In 1992 she formed a writing partnership with Quade which resulted a year later in Late Nite Catechism having its world premiere at the Live Bait Theater.
For tickets and information on Late Nite Catechism in New York, call (212) 239-6200; for information on the show in Hollywood, call (213) 365-3500 or stop at a Ticketmaster outlet.
Producer Corcoran has also had great success with the even longer-running, even more interactive Tony n' Tina's Wedding, and he'll soon be trying his luck with Irish wakes, courtesy of Finnegan's Farewell, readying for a May tryout and an autumn New York run.
-- By David Lefkowitz and Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent