BWW Preview: SISTER ACT -- THE MUSICAL at Arvada Center For The Arts And Humanities
Singing gangsters and nuns are taking the stage -- together - at the Arvada Center.
Sister Act -- The Musical takes the beloved 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and infuses it with the driving beat of music from Motown to disco. Set in the late 1970's, it musically tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, small-time disco diva, who is sent to a convent in a witness protection program after seeing her sleazy boyfriend shoot another criminal. The free spirited Deloris and the shy, reserved nuns have little in common - except a love of music. Soon, their musical interactions begin to change everything.
Brit West, who's been to Denver before in the National Tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert -- The Musical, plays the lead. Ms. West took her time to understand Deloris' background to create a more nuanced character. "I went back mostly to do research. Because you know, what's Deloris like first? Before she 's actually friends with these nuns, before she has relationships. Before they love her."
And the sisterly bonding you see on stage isn't just for show...or for the show. Ms. West says, "We spend a lot of time in rehearsal together, so that's good. So we can have all those moments and...chat about life. We're definitely way closer than people would be after knowing each other for two weeks."
Director Rod A. Lansberry, veteran of many Denver area productions, is a Henry Award winner whose recent credits include Chess, Ragtime and Death Takes a Holiday. He agrees that the cast has developed a special connection. "As they've moved through things they've become closer together and the bond is onstage and offstage."
Mr. Lansberry also says that this show has it all - from great fun to a great message, starting with Deloris. "As she changes and she learns from the sisters and the sisters learn from her it opens up a whole new world for both of them."
Sisterly bonding. Shadowy characters. Show-stopping musical numbers. It's what makes Sister Act an un-convent-ional musical success.
The Arvada Center production opens September 9 and runs through October 2.
For tickets, go to http://arvadacenter.org/sister-act or call 720-898-7200. For even more Sister Act, there are Happy Hours with the cast on September 16, 25, and 28 (matinee); and Audience Talk Backs on September 13, 22 and October 1 (evening).
Keith Hatten (Curtis Jackson)
David Kaverman (Eddie Souther)
Megan Van de Hey (Mother Superior)
Stephen Day (Monsignor O'Hara)
Sharon Kay White (Mary Patrick)
Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck (Mary Lazarus)
Emma Martin (Mary Robert)
Aaron Fried (Joey)
Anthony Alfaro (Pablo)
Napoleon Douglas (TJ)
Piper Lindsay Arpan
Rod A. Lansberry (director)
David Nehls (music director)
Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck (choreographer)
Brian Mallgrave (scene design)
Brianna Diaz (costume design)
Shannon McKinney (light design)
Grant Evenson (sound design)