Great cast makes 'Sister Act' a big hit

If the hit Broadway musical, Sister Act, became the huge international success that it is today, it is largely because of its great cast whose brilliant performance has drawn lots of raves and accolades from musical theater-goers and critics alike everywhere.

Its ensemble of talented and exceptional actors, singers and dancers has definitely left a deep and lasting mark in turning the musical into one of the most acclaimed and most successful musical theater acts in recent times.

The same world-class quality and level of acting and music making by its cast will enthrall local music lovers and theater-goers when Sister Act comes to Manila for a two-week run that will premiere on June 27 at the Theatre at Solaire at Entertainment City in Paranaque City.

Ovation Production, in association with Broadway Entertainment Group and Troika Entertainment, is bringing the show for the first time to the local musical theater scene as part of its American production’s Asian tour for 2017 that ends on July 9 with  no extension.

Based on the 1992 hit comedy movie of the same title starring Whoopi Goldberg, Sister Act is expected to attract impressive crowds of theater-goers and music lovers, considering the box office success of the original film version here 25 years ago.

Since it made its Broadway debut in 2011 following its world premiere in 2006, the musical has gained widespread renown as America’s new musical comedy classic.

The musical takes the audience’s breath away as it follows for two-and-a-half delightful hours the funny adventures of Deloris Van Cartier, a Vegas wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and is placed by the cops under protective custody in the last place anyone would think to look – a convent.,

Disguised as a nun and under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly re-discovers her own.

How Deloris breathes new life and brings positive change to the convent is told through the original music and score with a big Broadway sound written by the most acclaimed composer of our time, eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors), with lyrics by Glenn Slater.

Dene Hill plays the lead in the international tour of the acclaimed comedy musical "Sister Act"
The story was written by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner with additional book material by Douglas. Carter Beane.   

The cast of Sister Act is headed by Dene Hill in the role of Deloris Van Cartier.  Hill is an award-winning international opera singer who co-starred recently in the PBS docu-drama, A Time for Greatness, in which she played the role of Geraldine Whittington, the first African-American secretary in the White House (to President Lyndon B. Johnson).

Also performing major roles are Rebecca Mason-Wygal (Mother Superior), Will T. Travis (Eddie Souther), Brandon Godfrey (Curtis Jackson), Moses Bernal (Pablo), Emma Brook (Mary Patrick), Nancy Evans (Mary Lazarus), Sophie Kim (Mary Robert), Harry McEnerny V (Joey Finnochio) and Kevin D. O’Neil (Monsignor O’Hara).

Others in the cast s are Jarred Bedgood, D’Naysa Jordan, Caitlin Masiano, Meghan Deely and Tyler Simakh, Berlande Mills, Gabriel Rodrigues, Denzel Edmonson, Scott Fuss, Olivia Gjurich, Heidi Hayes, Kristin Litzenberg, Taylor Morgan Marsh, Ashley Masula, Paige McNamara, Damon McToy, Megan Opalinski, and Stephanie Miller.

The American production of the musical is produced by Whoopi Goldberg, music by Alan Menken and directed by Jerry Zaks.   

Sister Act premiered at  the Pasadena Playhouse in the Fall of 2006,  followed by a production at Alliance Theatre in Atlanta in the Winter of 2007.  The West End production began previews at the Palladium Theatre in London on May 7, 2009, while the Broadway production began preview performances on March 24, 2011 and officially opened on April 20, 2011 at the Broadway Theatre.

Seen by over 6 million theater-goers across the globe, Sister Act has been performed worldwide in Milan, Vienna, Paris, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan and on tour throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.  It has also been played in Canada, Ireland, South Africa and Spain.

The musical received five Tony Awards nominations in 2011: Best Musical, Best Original Score (Alan Menken-music/Glenn Slater-lyrics), Best Book of a Musical (Cheri and Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane), Best Actress in a Musical (Patricia Miller) and Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Victoria Clark)  

It was also nominated for four Olivier Awards in 2010, including Best Musical.

The musical has drawn widespread critical acclaim for being a “fun, funny and feel good” act, with The New York Post describing it as “ridiculously fun” and The Huffington Post lauding it for providing  fans “an unbridled joy.”

Sister Act is Ovation Productions’ second Broadway musical presentation after Disney’s Beauty and the Beast two years ago at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Tickets at P6,500, P5,500, P4,500, P3,500 and P1,500.  Available online at www.ticketworld or call (02) 981-9999.)

Topics: Sister Act
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