Detroit's intimate Century Theatre will offer the Motown premiere of Late Nite Catechism, the comic encounter with a pre-Vatican II nun who guides her pupils -- the audience - with an iron ruler.
Casting has not been announced, but the nun in charge is expected to be a veteran of the New York production. Performances begin Sept. 13, with an opening of Sept. 20. The comic interactive show, by Maripat Donovan and Vicki Quade, premiered in Chicago in 1993 and became an international hit. The script is drawn from Donovan's childhood experiences being taught by Catholic nuns for 16 years. Donovan was the original star of the piece.
Performances are expected to play through Dec. 31, but Detroit has always been a hot town for Catholic shows: Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? and Nunsense were two of the longest-running musicals in Michigan history when they played extended (and return) engagements at the Nederlander-run Birmingham Theatre in suburban Detroit.
Late Nite Catechism is billed as "part lecture, part improvisation and part question-and-answer session," an affectionate portrait of "Sister" and a bygone era.
The Century at 333 Madison Avenue is sister venue to the Gem Theatre, which continues to house the long-running Jeff Daniels comedy, Escanaba in da Moonlight, set in Michigan's wild Upper Peninsula. Tickets for Late Nite Catechism are $14.75-$34.50. For ticket information, call (313) 963-9800 or Ticketmaster at (248) 645-6666. Visit the Gem and Century web site at www.gemtheatre.com.
-- By Kenneth Jones