Third time's the charm for Late Nite Catechism, or at least in its visits to Queens Theatre in the Park, in Queens, New York. The solo show's latest visit, Feb. 12-13, is already sold out at the venue, according to Q TIP spokesperson Sam Rossi.
This is the third Queens visit for Catechism, including one stint -- in Spanish -- as part of the venue's Latino Arts Festival (though that one didn't draw crowds the way producers had hoped).
Catechism, penned by Maripat Donovan and Vicki Quade, has been playing for more than four years at the Theater at St. Luke's Church in midtown Manhattan. 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. Kathy Hogan will do the honors in Queens.
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, 1996. 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 theatre, 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.
New York producer Corcoran has also had great success with the even longer-running, even more interactive Tony n' Tina's Wedding, as well as the more recent Finnegan's Farewell.
For 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. For information on the show at Q-TIP call (718) 760-0064.
Q-TIP's next theatre mounting will be Pump Boys and Dinettes, March 4-12.
-- By David Lefkowitz
and Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent