Review: LATE NITE CATECHISM at Florida Repertory Theatre

Review: LATE NITE CATECHISM at Florida Repertory Theatre

Runs through July 7 in the ArtStage Studio Theatre.

By: Fran ThomasJun. 22, 2024

If you need a good laugh or rather an evening of them, I strongly suggest you make a pilgrimage to Florida Rep to see Late Nite Catechism. Denise Marie Christina Fennell as the Sister in charge of the audience’s Catholic education has been blessed with remarkable stand-up comedy skills.

The fun begins even before Sister enters with set decorations that would do any parochial elementary school proud. There’s a crucifix on the wall, a prominently placed statue of the Virgin Mary, and even a poster with a meme of Jesus saying:  “I saw that.”

Sister sweeps in accompanied by the nun’s chorus from The Sound of Music, clad in full habit and wimple, with an oversized rosary hanging from her belt. The audience came to play along and dutifully answered her greeting with a hearty “Good Evening, Sister.”

The show is highly interactive. Some of those called on get asked what their confirmation name is or are chastised, male and female, for showing too much skin. The references to religion come thick and fast: saints, church doctrine, nostalgia like the function of the ruler in the classroom.

At one point, Fennel declares, “It’s so fun to be me.” And she did look as though she were enjoying the audience as much as they were enjoying her.

Late Nite Catechism runs through July 7 in the Artstage Studio Theatre. For tickets, call 239.332.4488.