Reviewed by Jeanette Hamel
It is hard to believe that the original Sister Act movie was released over TWENTY years ago! Sister Act, the Musical, not only incorporates that original story line but interjects a fond and nostalgic feel of that long gone disco era. With a comfortably familiar story line, Sister Act, the Musical provides a truly entertaining, foot tapping, ear to ear grinning experience with a few “right out loud” belly laughs thrown in for good measure.
When Deloris Van Cartier (aka Doris Carter) finds herself as the only witness to a murder committed by her boyfriend/manager, Curtis Jackson, what other option can there possibly be other than to seek refuge in a run down convent? The lively and vivacious Ms. Van Cartier finds herself quickly transformed, in appearance at least, into Sister Mary Clarence under the ever watchful and stern glare of Mother Superior. But you just can’t hold a good woman down…Sister Mary Clarence takes charge, as only she can, when she “hijacks” the church choir and sets them on a path to “angelic hosts heard on high” with a very disco twist. The opportunistic Monsignor O’Hara, bending to his inner Disco King, encourages the choir’s transformation while ever mindful of the growing attraction and rising coffers.
The church choir isn’t the only transformation in this delightful musical. All the good sisters have a chance at their own epiphanies. Sister Mary Lazarus and Sister Mary Patrick provide excellent comic relief as they “put the Sis back in Genesis.” Sister Mary Robert truly shines in her seraphic and angelic metamorphosis. And Mother Superior learns a painful lesson in humility when the true meaning of “sisterhood” becomes apparent to all.
Of course, there are other heavenly characters who help create simpatico for the show. Eddie (Barney Fife of the local police precinct) has some “moves” that leave you clamoring for more. Curtis Jackson’s “Gang of Three” could be just as easily be “The Three Stooges Go To Church” and had the audience “captured.”
A divine and glorious musical which is certain to provide a few hours of celestial bliss! Charming and radiantly entertaining.
Buy Tickets at www.broadwayinchicago.com
Production photograph by Joan Marcus