Opened at the Broadway Theatre on April 20, 2011. To quote one of the actors "It will run as long as tickets are being sold".
The story is based on the movie Sister Act and was made in 1992 by Touchstone Pictures, starring Whoppie Goldberg, Maggie Smith and Kathy Najimy . A sequel of the movie was made in 1993 called Sister Act 2 Back In The Habit The musical version premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California from October 24, 2006 to December 23, 2006. It moved to the Alliance Theatre from January 17, 2007 to February 25, 2007. It then opened in West End at the London Palladium on June 2, 2009.
Alan Menken the composer of the show is an eight time Oscar and ten time Grammay award winner for such shows as Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid and Enchanted.
It was directed by four time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks (La Cage Aux Folles, A Funny Thing and Guys and Dolls).
The musical is about Deloris Van Cartier (Patina Miller). She witnesses her married gangster boyfriend Curtis Jackson (Kingsey Leggs) killing one of his employees. Afraid she will be his next victim she goes to the police station. Deloris mets Eddie Souther (Chester Gregory) a former classmate who had a crush on her . He's know as Sweaty Eddie for obivious reasons. Eddie said they have been wanting to put Curtis away for a long time. The only place that would be safe and no one would look is the local convent. Mother Superior ((Victoria Clark) tells Monsignor O'Hara (Fred Applegate) she's not to thrilled at the idea.
The rest of the musical Deloris jazzes up the choir from a low key singers to rap, hip hop, and rock. It goes from a church about close to one where you can't get into. Because of the publicity the pope wants to come visit the church when he's in town. This leads to Deloris hiding place compromised. A chase scene ensues with her would be killers chasing her and her fellow nuns, but all ends well. The final scene is with the Pope coming up from the orchestra pit.
It's a feel good, foot stomping musical. People in the audience got into the music and starting clapping. I was waiting for someone to shout hallelujah or amen.
The cast works well together. Kingsley Leggs sings the song "When I Find My Baby" you don't want him to stop. Chester Gregory "I Could Be That Guy" in the beginning sings very low key, but in the middle of the song his police uniform is ripped off and he now has a disco outfit on. His voice is rocking and boy can he move. Amen. "Haven't got a Prayer" sung by Victoria Clark was outstanding. Marla Mindelle "The Life I Never Led" goes from meek to shouting off the roof top. Last but not least Patina Miller, she did the London production of Sister Act (where she was nominated for an Olivier). We can see why she was. Patina puts her heart and soul into each number.
The set done by Klara Zieglerova in minimal but in a good way. You know that it is a church inside and out without overdoing it. Lez Brotherston did some wild nun costumes.
When I asked Ellsworth the stage door security if Whoppie Goldberg the producer for the show visits often he said "she was there for opening night. When she comes she always brings cookies because the cast works hard". I guess she will be bringing cookies for a long long time.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.