Sister Act


A Divine Musical Comedy


Broadway Theatre, (4/20/2011 - 8/26/2012)

First Preview: Mar 24, 2011
Opening Date: Apr 20, 2011
Closing Date: Aug 26, 2012
Total Previews: 28
Total Performances: 561

Category: Musical, Comedy, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by Whoopi Goldberg, Stage Entertainment, Joop Van Den Ende and Bill Taylor & Rebecca Quigley; Produced in association with The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President) and Disney Theatrical Productions; Associate Producer: Tom Leonardis

Originally produced by The Pasadena Playhouse and Alliance Theatre; Original production developed in association with Peter Schneider and Michael Reno

Book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner; Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Glenn Slater; Additional text by Douglas Carter Beane; Based on the motion picture "Sister Act" by Touchstone Pictures; Screenplay by Joseph Howard; Musical Director: Brent-Alan Huffman; Music orchestrated by Doug Besterman; Dance arrangements by Mark Hummel; Vocal arrangements by Michael Kosarin; Incidental music arrangements by Michael Kosarin

Directed by Jerry Zaks; Choreographed by Anthony Van Laast; Associate Director: Steven Bebout; US Associate Choreographer: Janet Rothermel

Scenic Design by Klara Zieglerova; Costume Design by Lez Brotherston; Lighting Design by Natasha Katz; Sound Design by John Shivers; Hair and Wig Design by David Brian Brown; Associate Scenic Design: Andrew D. Edwards; US Associate Costume Design: Amy Clark; Associate Lighting Design: Yael Lubetzky; Associate Sound Design: David Patridge

Executive Producer: Beverley D. Mac Keen; General Manager: 321 Theatrical Management; Company Manager: Roeya Banuazizi; Associate Co. Mgr: Eric Cornell

Production Manager: Aurora Productions; Production Supervisor: Steve Beckler; Production Stage Manager: Steve Beckler; Stage Manager: Jason Trubitt

Conducted by Michael Kosarin; Associate Conductor: Brent-Alan Huffman; Assistant Conductor: Aron Accurso; Concert Master: Suzanne Ornstein; Violins: Mineko Yajima, Eric DeGioia and Kristina Musser; Cello: Roger Shell; Woodwinds: Andrew Sterman, Marc Phaneuf and Jacqueline Henderson; Trumpets: Craig Johnson and Scott Harrell; Trombones: Gary Grimaldi and Jeff Nelson; Guitar: John Benthal; Bass: Dick Sarpola; Drums: Rich Mercurio; Percussion: Michael Englander; Keyboards: Brent-Alan Huffman and Aron Accurso; Music Supervisor: Michael Kosarin; Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Music Preparation: Russell Anixter and Donald Rice; Electronic Music Design: Andrew Barrett and Lionella Productions LLC

Director of Creative Development: Ulrike Burger-Brujis; Dance Captain: Louise Madison; Casting: Telsey + Company; Press Representative: The Hartman Group; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Marketing: AKA; Photographer: Joan Marcus; Interactive Marketing: SPOTCo, Inc.

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Opening Night Cast

Victoria ClarkMother Superior
(Mar 24, 2011 - Oct 12, 2011)
Patina Miller
Broadway debut
Deloris Van Cartier
(Mar 24, 2011 - Mar 18, 2012)
Fred ApplegateMonsignor O' Hara
Sarah BoltMary Patrick
John Treacy EganJoey
Demond GreenTJ
Chester GregoryEddie Souther
Kingsley LeggsCurtis Jackson
Marla MindelleMary Robert
Audrie NeenanMary Lazarus
Caesar SamayoaPablo
Jennifer AllenEnsemble
Charl BrownEnsemble
Holly DavisEnsemble
Christina DeCiccoEnsemble
Madeleine DohertyEnsemble
Alan H. GreenEnsemble
Blake HammondEnsemble
(Mar 24, 2011 - Jun 30, 2011)
Wendy JamesEnsemble
Kevin LigonEnsemble
(Mar 24, 2011 - Jun 30, 2011)
Marissa PerryEnsemble
Corbin ReidEnsemble
(Mar 24, 2011 - May 31, 2011)
Rashidra ScottMichelle
Ensemble
Jennifer SimardEnsemble
Lael Van KeurenEnsemble
Roberta B. WallEnsemble
Aléna WattersTina
Ensemble

Swings: Natalie Bradshaw, Carrie A. Johnson, Louise Madison, Ernie Pruneda and Lance Roberts

Understudies: Jennifer Allen (Mary Lazarus, Mother Superior), Charl Brown (Eddie Souther, Pablo, TJ), Holly Davis (Mary Patrick), Christina DeCicco (Mary Robert), Alan H. Green (Curtis Jackson, Eddie Souther), Blake Hammond (Joey, Monsignor O' Hara), Wendy James (Mother Superior), Kevin Ligon (Joey, Monsignor O' Hara), Marissa Perry (Mary Patrick), Ernie Pruneda (Pablo, TJ), Corbin Reid (Deloris Van Cartier , Michelle, Tina), Lance Roberts (Curtis Jackson), Rashidra Scott (Deloris Van Cartier ), Lael Van Keuren (Mary Robert, Michelle, Tina) and Roberta B. Wall (Mary Lazarus)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2011 Best Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment; Produced in association with The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President) and Disney Theatrical Productions

 2011 Best Book of a Musical [nominee] 

Additional text by Douglas Carter Beane; Book by Bill Steinkellner and Cheri Steinkellner

 2011 Best Original Score Written for the Theatre [nominee] 

Lyrics by Glenn Slater; Music by Alan Menken

 2011 Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical [nominee] 

Patina Miller

 2011 Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical [nominee] 

Victoria Clark

Drama Desk Award

 2011 Outstanding Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment; Produced in association with The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President) and Disney Theatrical Productions

 2011 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Victoria Clark

 2011 Outstanding Lyrics [nominee] 

Lyrics by Glenn Slater

 2011 Outstanding Music [nominee] 

Music by Alan Menken

Songs

music by Alan Menken; lyrics by Glenn Slater

ACT 1 Sung By
Take Me to HeavenDeloris, Michelle and Tina
Fabulous, Baby!Deloris, Michelle and Tina
Here Within These WallsMother Superior and Deloris
It's Good to Be a NunDeloris, Mary Patrick, Mary Robert, Mary Lazarus and Nuns
When I Find My BabyCurtis, Joey, Pablo and TJ
I Could Be That GuyEddie and Bums
Raise Your VoiceDeloris, Mary Patrick, Mary Robert, Mary Lazarus and Nuns
Take Me to Heaven (Reprise) Deloris, Mary Patrick, Mary Robert, Mary Lazarus and Nuns
ACT 2 Sung By
Sunday Morning FeverDeloris, Mother Superior, Monsignor O' Hara, Eddie, Mary Patrick, Mary Robert, Mary Lazarus, Nuns and Workers
Lady in the Long Black DressJoey, Pablo and TJ
Haven't Got a PrayerMother Superior
Bless Our ShowDeloris, Mary Patrick, Mary Robert, Mary Lazarus and Nuns
The Life I Never LedMary Robert
Fabulous, Baby! (Reprise) Deloris, Eddie, Nuns and Fantasy Dancers
Sister ActDeloris
When I Find My Baby (Reprise) Curtis
The Life I Never Led (Reprise) Mary Robert
Sister Act (Reprise) Deloris, Mother Superior, Mary Patrick, Mary Robert, Mary Lazarus and Nuns
Spread the Love AroundThe Company

Reviews


AP: "Broadway musical 'Sister Act' will convert you"

It's time to stop mocking Mormons. And high time to have fun with Roman Catholics.

"Sister Act" — the crowd-pleasing musical that rhymes "chicks" with "crucifix" — opened Wednesday at the Broadway Theatre, having imported its dancing nuns from a well-received stint in London.

Calibrated to be frothy, giggly and yet often poignant, the Jerry Zaks-directed musical is based on the 1992 movie of the same name starring Whoopi Goldberg, who is now producing. This is a musical that hits all the right spots, achieving something close to Broadway grace.

Goldberg's old part, that of the wannabe-nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier, is played to perfection by newcomer Patina Miller, whose voice, dancing and charm are, ahem, heavenly. "Yeah, I'm fabulous, baby!" she sings in an early song, the perfect way to announce this wonderful new talent. "Feast your eyes — can't disguise/my star quality!"

It helps that the musical has great original tunes by songwriter Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater that skitters from Motown, to soul and funk, to disco and even a little jokey Barry White. Menken and Slater, who also teamed up for "The Little Mermaid," know perfectly how to switch up the mood and tempo. (See how their "Take Me to Heaven" transforms from a Donna Summer-like number at the beginning to a religious hymn by the end.)

For its trip from the West End, "Sister Act" has gained some script tweaking, some song changes and a rehauled cast, most especially with Victoria Clark bringing depth to her role as the grumpy Mother Superior. Zaks took over direction duties and playwright Douglas Carter Beane massaged the story by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner. The action has shifted from the West Coast in the movie to the '70s of Philadelphia, which allows for the introduction of soul, in more ways than one.

The plot is faithful to the movie: A nightclub singer accidentally witnesses a murder by her crime boss lover and flees to a convent to hide. The stuffy nuns come alive as she teaches them razzle-dazzle and rhythm — "Shake it like you're Mary Magdalene" — and she in turn learns the value of sisterhood and self-sacrifice.

Does it seem like Broadway musicals are having a lot of jokes at the expense of religions this season, what with "The Book of Mormon" and now "Sister Act"? Not to worry: Both these shows ultimately champion belief, even if they tweak what might be considered the external silliness of faiths.

Despite the uplifting message, the Vatican will be unlikely to endorse "Sister Act," even if the pope himself does make an appearance — in reality, conductor Michael Kosarin in holy vestments.

The sets by Klara Zieglerova whiz about the stage — church, convent dining room, bar, stained glass panels, a huge statue of Mary and a police station — as if God himself was moving them. Funny choreography in a show like this is crucial and Anthony Van Laast has clearly relished putting doughy-looking women in wimples through their Vegas-style paces. There's also a farcical chase that uses all of the stage.

He has been helped by Lez Brotherston's costumes which upgrade the nuns' black-and-white habits with a liberal dose of sparkles and rhinestones. The increasing lush, razzle-dazzle outfits of the nuns and priests is a running joke as Deloris' influence in the convent grows. But a note of warning: If the white suit John Travolta wore in "Saturday Night Fever" still haunts you, this show may trigger flashbacks.

Two songs from the London production, including the gospel-raunchy "Do the Sacred Mass," were cut, which is probably a good thing for believers and nonbelievers alike. Two songs have been added, including "Haven't Got a Prayer" for Clark, who nails it.

Miller is the only one remaining from the London cast and new director Zaks proves one of his first smart moves was to keep this talented woman. She and Clark manage to add depth — exploring how people handle change, should religions keep the modern world at bay and is fame more important than friendship — to what could be just a silly comedy.

They are aided by solid turns by Chester Gregory (who plays Sweaty Eddie and has delicious fun with "I Could Be That Guy"), Kingsley Leggs (the crime boss who sings the chilling love song "When I Find My Baby"), and Marla Mindelle as a novice nun who belts out the melancholic "The Life I Never Led"). Fred Applegate as the monsignor is drolly funny.

In a word, the whole thing is rather divine.


AP
04/24/2011

Replacement/Transfer Info


The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.


Broadway Theatre

(4/20/2011 - 8/26/2012)
Company Manager: Eric Cornell(Jun 2011 - Aug 26, 2012); Associate Co. Mgr: Susan Brumley(Aug 2011 - Aug 26, 2012).

Assistant Dance Captain: Ernie Pruneda.

Cast

Melvin Abston
Cop (May 15, 2012 - ?)
Ensemble (May 15, 2012 - ?)
Jennifer Allen
Mother Superior (Oct 13, 2011 - Nov 18, 2011)
Carolee Carmello
Mother Superior (Nov 19, 2011 - Aug 26, 2012)
Alysha Deslorieux
Ensemble (Jul 17, 2012 - ?)
Aaron Kaburick
Ensemble
Joey Finnochio
role added after opening
Rashidra Scott
Deloris Van Cartier (Mar 20, 2012 - Mar 25, 2012)
Jessica Sheridan
Ensemble
Danny Stiles
Joey
Raven Symoné
Broadway debut
Deloris Van Cartier (Mar 27, 2012 - Aug 26, 2012)


Swings: T. Oliver Reid.

Understudies: Melvin Abston (Curtis Jackson), Alysha Deslorieux (Deloris Van Cartier , Michelle, Tina), Madeleine Doherty (Mary Lazarus), Aaron Kaburick (Joey, Monsignor O' Hara), T. Oliver Reid (Curtis Jackson), Jessica Sheridan (Mary Theresa).


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