Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan in Late Nite Catechism offer a critique of American Catholicism (our rituals, our guilts, our traditions, our guilts, our schools, our guilts–oy, our guilts) even a devout believer could love. No wonder the show has been such a popular success, both here and in regional productions around the country. Quade and Donovan do have a few sharp words about their Catholic upbringings, especially about Catholic schools, but even their harshest doses–aimed at (surprise!) authoritarian nuns–are sugarcoated. And if they weren’t, the latest actress to take on the role of Sister, who treats everyone like an eight-year-old, would make them seem sweet. More Maria von Trapp than Sister Mary Ignatius, Rosie Newton explains it all for us with an air of sweet-voiced calm that contrasts sharply with the way actresses have played Sister in the past, as a harpy in nun’s clothing. The funny thing is that Newton’s nice-nun demeanor only makes the play’s moments of sisterly sadism–as when she calls audience members to account for being late–all the more delicious. Ivanhoe Theater, 750 W. Wellington, 773-975-7171. Open run: Fridays-Saturdays, 7:30 PM; Sundays, 2:30 PM. $23-$25; $8 for the show on Friday, May 29, in celebration of the production’s fifth anniversary. –Jack Helbig

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): theater still/ uncredited.