Best Long-Running Production - 2002
Late Nite Catechism, Grandel Theatre
For the past ten months, St. Louis has been blessed by the presence of Colleen O'Neill, whose remarkably gentle yet fully-realized performance as Sister in Late Nite Catechism has made the city a more benevolent place. Out on the street, newspaper headlines proclaimed the trying times of the Catholic Church. But inside Sister's classroom at the Grandel, priests were barely mentioned. Here, Catholicism was defined by roseate memories of the saints and the nuns. Even an occasional classroom beating was cause for nostalgia. You can credit the success of Late Night Catechism to good reviews, to good marketing, to good whatever-you-like. But the surest good of all is enthusiastic word of mouth, and this show had that in abundance. Through three extensions and an audience that exceeded 50,000 (many of them, doubtless, repeaters), Late Nite Catechism was a side-splitting theater phenomenon to be cherished.