“ ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART” IS MARRIAGE COUNSELING WITH A TWIST
        BONNIE GOLDBERG

    The holy sacrament of marriage is being explored and explained, scrutinized and sanitized through the good and well-intentioned attentions of Sister in Maripat Donovan’s irreverent and comic “ ‘Til Death Do Us Part:  Late Nite Catechism 3.”   Long Wharf Theatre’s Stage II has been transformed into a religious school classroom #304, until Sunday, August 16, as the spicy and sage Sister presides over Marriage Counseling 101.

Be prepared to learn some slants on traditional views, and relearn some old truths.  You probably know Sister doesn’t like late comers (they could be fined), gum chewers, tattoos, immodest clothing, cell phones that ring and patent leather shoes (think reflections).  You may be astonished to discover that the Pope has an astronomer, which would make aliens eligible to be God’s creatures, that the Vatican conducts outer space research and that you can learn a lot about world religions from watching “South Park.”

A quick review of the seven sacraments, which Sister would like to hear recited in order, focuses on two:  Marriage and the blessing of the sick, also known as the Last Rites.  Sister is full of helpful advice, like praying to Saint Ann to find a husband and providing a detailed timeline to guarantee a good Catholic marriage that travels from the engagement ring all the way to the death bed.

By way of encouragement, Sister believes there is “a lid for every pot,” couples should lovingly accept all the children God sends them and that compatibility is the cornerstone of a good Catholic marriage, but separate bathrooms definitely help.  To prove the last point, she conducts a Compatibility Quiz Game for two lucky couples, who get to vote, much like “The Newlywed Game” on questions like “Would you rather have an audience with the Pope?” or “A beer with Brad Pitt?”  Select the lesser of two evils, “An eight hour traffic school class” or “A family reunion.”

For the third time, Nonie Newton-Breen is the Sister with lots of questions and most of the answers in this delightful and droll version of the Catechism classes you may or may not remember.  For tickets ($22-25), call Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven at 203-787-4282 or online at www.longwharf.org. ; Performances are Wednesday – Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Don’t forget to also secure your tickets for ”One Man Star Wars,”
A one- man show written and performed by Charles Ross running July 14-26 on the Mainstage, and “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy” starring Steve Solomon on the Mainstage August 5-9 and 19-30.

Brush up on your sacraments and take along your sweetheart for some lessons on connubial bliss you never anticipated hearing, from the Sister with the sharpest sense of humor in the convent or in the collection box.

This will appear in the Middletown Press on July 16.

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