In Chicago, Mother Superior runs the class for Put the Nuns in Charge! But outside of the Chicagoland area, a new instructor hits the road for this classic comedy. The archdiocese is sending out Mrs. Mary Margaret O'Brien, a former nun, to handle the Seven Deadly Sins of Bad Behavior. She's lost her habit, but none of her old habits!
Mother Superior in the modern world
Follow-up to ‘Late Nite Catechism’ has a new nun dealing
with today’s issues
By Eileen O. Daday
Daily Herald Correspondent
Posted Thursday, September 07, 2006
One of the creators behind the original “Late Nite Catechism” now returns with a new hit comedy, and it’s just as irreverent — and nostalgic.
“Put the Nuns in Charge,” written by Vicki Quade, runs for two nights only at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.
It arrives in the Northwest suburbs straight from its open engagement at the Royal George Theatre in Chicago, where it has played to sold out audiences for the past year, with no end in sight.
“Where Late Nite Catechism deals with saints and gets its humor from the actual catechism we were taught, for this one I was looking for something more contemporary,” Quade said. “Here, the idea is that Mother Superior is looking at modern sins, and how we treat each other.”
Consequently, the show pokes fun at everything from celebrities such as Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise, to revealing clothing, driving habits, iPods and cell phone use — for starters.
However, this is no one-woman show. Audience members will find themselves once more in a classroom, taking an active role in the evening’s lesson.
“It was easy coming up with the material,” Quade added. “I based the play on the ‘Seven Deadly Sins,’ and just by picking up a newspaper, you find lots of examples.”
Veteran Chicago actress Kathleen Puls Andrade plays "Mother Superior." She has created the role for nearly a year at the Royal George, and she approaches it as part stand-up comedy, and part catechism class.
Andrade has performed in the Chicago area for the last 15 years, and honed her comedy skills from The Second City Conservatory, ImprovOlympic and The Annoyance improvisation programs.
Tim Rater, Metropolis executive director, says that once his staff found out Quade had penned a new show, they knew they had to book it.
“Late Nite Catechism ran here for years and people loved it,” Rater said. “This new show is a riot, too. The actress playing Mother Superior fantastic. People are just going to have a blast.”
A little known fact behind the long-running comedy, is the money it has raised for sisters’ retirement funds. In each city a collection is taken up at the end of the show for a local order’s benefit.
Over the last 10 years, Quade says they have donated more than $2 million to nuns across the country.
When ‘Late Nite’ played during its original run at the Metropolis, producers collected donations for the Sisters of the Living Word, whose order is based in Arlington Heights.
Likewise, after Friday’s and Saturday’s shows, they will take up a collection for the same order of sisters.