Sister Act Delivers -- Guest Critic Anne Shoemaker
The Hippodrome Theatre presents the Broadway tour of Sister Act, an uproariously funny musical based off of the extremely successful movie and book, with original music from multi-award winning composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Enchanted.)
I'll admit that when I walked in to take my seat, my expectations were not very high. The movie is a favorite of mine and is so complete a story that I wasn't sure how it could be improved. The rehashing of movies has been a current theme of the Broadway musical: Young Frankenstein, Beauty and the Beast, and Spiderman to name a few, none of which had bowled me over. But in spite of my misgivings, I found myself thoroughly charmed by Delores and the Sisters. Set in the 1970s, the show is a perfect platform to combine disco, funk, the soulful sounds of Barry White and choir music to create an unapologetically big and loud, in-your-face, Broadway musical - complete with an enormous glittering statue of the Virgin Mary.
The entire cast was spot on, but attention must be paid to Ta'Rea Campbell (Deloris) from her brassy, big tones and demeanor, to her lovely transformation. Hollis Resnik (Mother Superior) also deserves praise for a quick-witted sense of humor and reverent voice. The show stealer, however, must go to Chester Gregory (Eddie Souther) in his incredible rendition of "I Could Be That Guy." I won't spoil it for you, but there are quick-changes and homeless back-up dancers. Trust me, its great.
I found myself singing along to the music, dancing in my seat, shamelessly giggling at the many and varied puns (for which there is always a spot in my heart), and found my fellow audience members doing the same. By the end of it, it was more like a rock concert experience than a show, with everyone loving the music together and not wanting the experience to end. The movie may be good, but the musical stands alone as an uplifting, unique and truly wonderful evening of theatre. -- Anne Shoemaker
"Sister Act" continues its run at the Hippodrome Theatre, 12 North Eutaw Street, now through June 15th. Call 800.343.3103.
Baltimore Broadwayworld Guest Critic Anne Shoemaker is a noted actor and director in Baltimore and has performed/directed at multiple venues throughout the region,