Welk’s ‘Late Nite Catechism 3’ is sinfully funny
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
If you are looking for a show where you’ll laugh so hard your sides ache and tears come to your eyes, then “‘Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3” if for you.
The one-woman comedic show that relies heavily on audience interaction is returning for a Sept. 5-16 run at the Welk Resorts Theatre. It first appeared at the Welk for a two-week run earlier this summer.
This show focuses on the sacraments of marriage and last rites, the latter known to Roman Catholics as extreme unction and anointing of the sick. It is part of the “Late Nite Catechism” series by Donovan Entertainment, Inc.
Attending other shows from the series is not necessary to enjoy Part 3, though if they are anything like this segment, when they come to a nearby theater check them out.
Being a Catholic is not necessary to enjoy the show either, but Catholics will likely find the production particularly entertaining — especially if they were ever taught by a nun or heard tales from relatives about their days in Catholic school. Everything discussed is family-friendly fare.
In the Welk’s show, Denise Marie Christina Fennell plays the role of “Sister” perfectly. She has wonderful comedic timing and impromptu acting skills. According to her biography, the Boston native “grew up in a very strict Italian Catholic neighborhood” and often attended daily Mass with her grandmother.
While Fennell obviously has an outline — or catechism syllabus — she follows to “educate” her “students” (aka the audience) on the two sacraments, when appearing at the Welk earlier this summer she went full force without pause on whatever path the dialogue wandered based on the audience’s responses.
There are three parts to the two-hour show: marriage, last rites and as a conclusion “Sister’s” version of “The Newlywed Game” in which two couples in the audience are called up on stage to compete by answering questions about their relationship that shows how well they know the other.
Just like in a classroom, “Sister” also randomly calls upon her “students” to answer questions, so if you’re Catholic you might want to brush up on your catechism — and remember to stand when responding, lest she reprimands you on the latter. She is more lenient if you cannot give the correct answer.
“‘Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3” can be seen in matinee and evening performances Sept. 5-16 at the Welk Resorts Theatre, 8860 Lawrence Welk Drive in Escondido. Tickets start at $44, with an optional buffet available for some shows. To purchase, call 888-802-SHOW (7469) or go to www.welkresorts.com.
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