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Late Nite Catechism: The Holy Ghost and Other Terrifying Tales Brings Laughter and Spooky Fun to the Gracie Theatre

Published on: October 29, 2021

Nun holding a ruler while standing at a podium

BANGOR, MAINE – “Late Nite Catechism” is returning to Husson University’s Gracie Theatre in Bangor on Friday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. In this hilarious one-woman show, “Sister” once again treats the audience as members of her adult catechism class. Her sidesplitting lessons will resonate with Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

This edition of this outrageously funny series is called, “The Holy Ghost and Other Terrifying Tales.” During the performance, “Sister” explains the church’s take on October’s ghostly holiday. “Late Nite Catechism” is one of many shows that comprise the Gracie Theatre’s 10th successful season sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank.

“This is our third visit from “Sister” in the past four years. Audiences can’t get enough of this show! In fact, following her performance in 2019, patrons specifically requested “The Holy Ghost and Other Terrifying Tales” edition of the series. People love Halloween, so it will be fun to have “Sister” explaining it as only she can!” said Jeri Misler, managing artistic director of the Gracie Theatre.

“Late Nite Catechism” is an uproarious piece of theater that takes audience members nostalgically back to the children they once were. Over the course of the performance, Sister goes from benevolent instructor, rewarding the “students” in the audience for correct answers with glow-in-the-dark rosaries and laminated saint cards, to authoritative drill sergeant. Either way, these interactions are sure to strike a resonant chord and resurrect memories of audience members’ own parochial school days.

The Catholic Register (Toronto) said, “The show appeals to Catholics and non-Catholics alike since ‘Sister’ clearly explains religious references in lighthearted ways while maintaining a serious tone that isn’t too preachy and far from being saccharine.” 

The New York Times in 1996 declared, “Late Nite Catechism speaks to an audience much broader than the membership of any one church.”

Denise Fennell currently plays Sister Mary Christina in “Late Nite Catechism”. The show’s creator, Maripat Donovan, first discovered Fennell while she was playing Tina in the Off-Broadway production of “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.” Donovan trained Fennell personally for the role.

Fennell is now a veteran of the “Late Nite Catechism” series and has performed to rave reviews across the US and Canada. She recently completed a run of “Shear Madness” at The Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, Texas. She has also appeared in the Off-Broadway company of “Shear Madness” in New York City. Fennell is best known for her portrayal of “Sister” in the “Late Nite Catechism” series and in Jane Wagner's award-winning comedy “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.”

“Late Nite Catechism,” written by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan, made its debut May 28, 1993 at the Live Bait Theatre in Chicago, Illinois and since has been presented in over 410 cities around the world. The play has been performed in six countries to a cumulative audience of over 3.5 million people. The show has raised over $4 million for retired Sisters and Catholic Organizations.

“Late Nite Catechism” was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award in New York and won the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for “Best Lead Performance” for Maripat Donovan. It’s the longest running one-woman show in Off-Broadway history in a variety of cities including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, St. Louis, Scottsdale, New Orleans, and Los Angeles.

“Late Nite Catechism” will be at the Gracie Theatre on Friday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $23.00 to $32.50 with group discounts available for groups of eight or more by calling the box office. To purchase tickets or for more information about group rates, call the Gracie Box Office at 207-941-7888 or at https://www.gracietheatre.com. The Gracie Theatre is located at One College Circle in Bangor, Maine.

The Gracie’s season is made possible with support from Bangor Savings Bank. The theatre also gratefully acknowledges the generous support provided throughout the season by additional show sponsors including Downeast Toyota, Governor’s Restaurant and Bakery, the Mimi Foundation and Pepsi.

Completed in October of 2009, The Gracie is Husson University's center for the fine and performing arts. This beautiful 500-seat theatre is considered one of Maine’s premier performance venues. In addition, The Gracie also serves as a learning platform for students from the New England School of Communications in digital audio, sound mixing, set design and construction, lighting, acting and electronics.

For more than 120 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to an analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.

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