From the Chicago Tribune:
"Put the Nuns in Charge" is a thoroughly entertaining evening and, though it's hardly revelatory about the Big Questions of faith (nor does it mean to be), Lynda Shadrake's performance was sharp, funny and richly humane.
Some knowledge of church doctrine is probably helpful, but because the emphasis is more on do's and don'ts than dogma, familiarity with the Baltimore catechism isn't necessary to get most of the jokes.
The piece, of course, makes reference to the new pope ("They called him `the Rottweiler,' but I think we should call him `our German shepherd'") as well as stars-gone-bad Russell Crowe and Michael Jackson (who is held up as an example of sloth for getting to court late and wearing his pajamas). The show, like its predecessor, is also heavy on audience interaction, though even those scolded usually come away with a prayer card.
In the wake of the church's wide-ranging sexual-abuse scandals, the nuns, as the title suggests, are probably better equipped to render moral advice these days.
From the Daily Southtown:
Catholics, others can appreciate class act
By BETTY MOHR
Daily Southtown Theater Critic
You don't have to be Catholic to get a kick out of "Put the Nuns in Charge!" but the experience of this show is that much more hilarious if you attended Catholic school. Written and produced by Vicki Quade, this is a nostalgic hoot that will recall some very funny moments about growing up Catholic.
Playing at the Royal George Theatre, this interactive show is set within an intimate theater space that looks just like a classroom. Here we have Kathleen Puls Andrader, dressed in a nun's black-and-white habit and walking to and fro holding tight to a long wooden ruler.
She approaches the blackboard and points to a series of words: sloth, lust, pride, anger, envy, greed and gluttony. She explains the consequences of those Seven Deadly Sins with comic examples. Michael Jackson, for instance, represents Sloth because he was always late to his trial and came dressed in his pajamas.
On the evening I sat in on the class, she noticed a man in the audience who she thought was indulging in some kind of hanky panky. "Take your arm away from that woman," she admonished. "Who is she?" she asks sharply. "It's my wife," he answers. "That's ridiculous," the nun says. "Married couples don't act like that."
It goes on and like that as she teaches us life lessons on civility, humility and godliness.
She asks theatergoers — who, as the show continues, begin to look and act very much like children — what you call those who come to church just before the homily and leave after the Eucharist. "Episcopalians" is the answer.
This nun is not only a tough disciplinarian, but she's very good at improvisation. The stern look on her face deepens as one man in the audience asks her if she had to learn to give "that look" before becoming a nun.
When she returns from intermission, she sees that one of her class members has written "penguin" on the board. While she erases that word, someone else pops up and asks her if she has to wear the same clothes every day. Without missing a beat, she responds with: "Of course, that's why they call it a habit."
While Cecilie D. Keenan does a fine job directing, this show is a charm because of Andrade's flawless portrayal. She captures the presence of a nun with such perfection that you soon forget she's an actress and are convinced that she really is a nun.
A funny and nostalgic romp, "Put the Nuns in Charge!" is a wonderful reminder of Catholic life during a simpler, more disciplined time.
From the Pioneer Press:
You’ll get a charge out of sequel to Late Nite Catechism
Once again, we have a wonderful blend of satire and nostalgia as we re-enter a Catholic classroom to face a stern, ruler-wielding nun.
In “Put the Nuns in Charge!”, highly creative playwright Vicki Quade has updated the material. Now, finances have shut down many Catholic schools, and a new nun is teaching a class in Adult Human Behavior. References are startlingly topical. Russell Crowe’s hurling a telephone at a bellboy, she says, is “not reaching out to touch someone.”
Late Nite Catechism, in an open run, is enjoying its 13th year in Chicago, and has received national and international acclaim. Those who have seen the play are certain to take pleasure in the sequel, while those who haven’t will experience the delicious shock of recognition when they return to the classroom of their youth.
You don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy either play—and the best advice on which one to see would be to take in both, currently running in tandem at the Royal George.