Sister Act the Musical: a Divine Comedy on the Great White Way.
Everyone remembers the 1992 classic comedy film, starring the hilarious Habit wearing Whoopi Goldberg. Well look out, because Deloris Van Cartier is back, and this time she not only sings with a back-up choir of nuns, but she also dances and performs on the Broadway Theatre’s stage in this latest feel-good musical to take Broadway by storm. Produced by Whoopi Goldberg, Sister Act features an original score by 8-time Oscar and 10-time Grammy Award winner Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Enchanted) and direction by 4-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks (La Cage aux Folles, A Funny Thing…, Guys and Dolls).
Originating in London’s West End, and now nominated for a 2011 Best Musical Tony Award, this is one show you will not want to miss! Most of the story stays true to the hit movie, but with one delicious twist: the updated musical now takes place in the 1970’s, which means the show is filled with up-beat and musical ear candy hits by Menken. The story follows disco diva Deloris Van Cartier, played by Olivier Award nominee Patina Miller, who has dreams of hitting the big time. But when she walks in on a "hit" of a different kind, the cops hide her in the last place any crook would think to look - a convent! At first, Deloris, who is disguised as "Sister Mary Clarence," has trouble adjusting to life under the strict rule of Mother Superior, played by Tony Award winner Victoria Clark. But when she transforms the convent's choir into the most glorious new musical act in town, Deloris forms a lasting bond with her newfound friends… and the gang that's chasing her finds itself up against an unstoppable team of soulful sisters!
It’s safe to say that the show’s biggest star is Victoria Clark, who won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance in The Light in the Piazza. However, it is Patina Miller’s portrayal of the convent hide-away Deloris that truly steals the show. With an electrifying voice and a radiant presence on stage, she is an absolute delight to watch perform and bring new life to Whoopi’s original character. One of the factors that made the now classic film such a huge hit was the delightful array of loveable and quirky nuns who Deloris finds refuge and unexpected friendship with. This new collection of singing nuns is no exception. With standout performances by Sarah Bolt, the bubbly Sister Mary Patrick (originally played by Kathy Najimy), and Marla Mindelle, the shy and quiet Sister Mary Robert, you can’t help but root for these misfit nuns as they struggle to keep their church and make their choir a foot-stomping success.
In an age when almost every classic movie or show hasbeen turned into a musical on Broadway, Sister Act defies the odds by not pretending to be anything but what it is: a darn good time with just the right amount of heart. With characters you can feel, love, laugh, sing and dance along with, this is the feel-good musical of the year. Even the villains of the show, played hilariously by Kinglsey Leggs, John Treacy Egan, Demond Green, and Caesar Samayoa, are a hoot to watch on stage and have a few knock-out numbers of their own. With fabulous set designs by Klara Zieglerova and truly ‘far out’ costume designs by Lez Brotherston, Sister Act never strays too far from the original film, and yet maintains its’ own unique flavor through the 70’s music vibe and a few new character and love developments. In short, if you’re already a fan of the movie, then you will not be disappointed by this grooving new musical version.
From start to finish, Sister Act is a non-stop rollercoaster ride of foot-stomping hits and unabashed fun. I dare anyone to enter the Broadway Theatre and not leave with a smile on their face and an upbeat song in their head. A glitzy and glamorous smash musical hit with singing and dancing nuns: what’s NOT to love? Don’t miss this incredibly fun and uplifting musical; it’s one of the best times to be had on any church or Broadway stage!
In short, if you’re already a fan of the movie, then you will not be disappointed by this grooving new musical version. If you enjoyed the movie, see the musical.