A Priest, an Altarboy, and a Nun

Every year a Spanish village honors a saint by dropping a goat off the church tower. Casual observers might find this particularly odd, but cradle Catholics know how to take it in stride. Catholicism — what with its complex rituals, politics, history, and secrets — is a culture of mystery unto itself. Did you know, for instance, that a dead Pope has to be tapped on the head three times with a small hammer before his death is official? Ever come across the theory of Purgatory? Or how about the Vatican bank? Great mysteries, all.

In the grand tradition of murky Catholic subjects, the Caldwell Theater (7873 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton) presents Doubt: A Parable, the 2005 Pulitzer-winning play. Set in a Bronx Catholic school just after Vatican II, Doubt is the story of an outgoing priest, a boy, and a tough nun who suspects the priest of molesting said boy. As the priest and nun butt heads, the audience struggles to understand the truth behind the accusations: Is the priest an innocent saint or a pedophile? Like the final prophecy of the Virgin of Fatima (a disappointingly vague prediction of an assassination, which was finally revealed in 2000), Doubt keeps twisting minds most days through January 6. Tickets cost $10 to $42. Call 561-241-7432, or visit www.caldwelltheatre.com.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 20. Continues through Jan. 6, 2007

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Bill Frogameni