The Denver Center along with producers Whoopi Goldberg
, Stage Entertainment
and Troika Entertainment
are pleased to present SISTER ACT: the Musical which plays The Buell Theatre now through October 6th. When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place cops are sure she won't be found - a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and an uptight Mother Superior. Using her fabulous disco-ness and killer voice to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church, but in doing so blows her cover. Soon it's nun-on-the-run time but she finds salvation in the heavenly power of her newly found sisterhood. Based on the mega-hit feature film, SISTER ACT features an original Alan Menken
score with a vast inspiration of musical styles from Motown, soul and funk to great big disco anthems and Barry White
inspired musical comedy.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this production, the first three scenes were low on energy and a little underwhelming. Then suddenly as if through divine intervention, the show came to life and it was a rollercoaster of energy, harmonious voices and fun. Had Delores been more of a diva right from the start (think Effie White in Dreamgirls) and is Curtis had been more of a jive talking, superfly gangsta it would have raised the energy of those initial scenes to the rest of the production. I must say that once the lightbulb was turned on, the audience fell in love with this production and the rest of the show was so vibrant, that you simply forgot the lackluster start. While at times I did miss those memorable songs from the movie, the dynamic duo of Alan Menken
did an exceptional job with the music. The most impressive aspect were those glorious harmonies that just kept building upon each other, especially with the nun's songs. The title song, Sister Act had Alan Menken
written all over it and brought a smile to my face. Highlight numbers include - Fabulous Baby!, It's Good to be a Nun, I Could be that Guy, Raise Your Voice, Take me to Heaven (Reprise), Sunday Morning Fever, Lady in the Long Black Dress, Haven't Got a Prayer, Bless Our Show, The Life I Never Led, and Sister Act.
Ta'Rea Campbell was absolutely fabulous in the iconic role of Deloris Van Cartier. Her voice is divine and her charisma carried throughout the entire show. She brought down the house with her passionate rendition of the title song, Sister Act. Hollis Resnik
was also superb as the stern, yet caring Mother Superior. Her songs, Here Within These Walls and Haven't Got a Prayer showed so much heart and I adored her performance. The supporting nuns were just delightful and transformed the energy of the show and brought such amazing harmonies that it sounded like there were a hundred of them. Ashley Moniz
as the shy nun, Mary Robert had such a mesmerizing performance with great range and she amazed us with The Life I Never Led. Florrie Bagel
as the bubbly Mary Patrick was also superb and Diane J. Findlay
as grumpy Mary Lazarus had everyone in stitches. Delores's protector and love interest, Eddie Souther (played by the adorable Chester Gregory
) had the audience in the palm of his hand and everyone fell in love with him when he sang I Could Be That Guy. Kingsley Leggs
as Curtis Jackson was good, but a bit too stoic for my tastes. Todd A. Horman
(Joey), Ernie Pruneda
(Pablo), Charles Barksdale
(TJ) were a hilarious trio as the bumbling muscle of Curtis. They brought down the house with their disturbingly funny and seductive song, Lady in the Long Black Dress.
If you want a wonderful musical with high energy and amazing heart, then this is the show for you! SISTER ACT: the Musical is delighting audiences now through October 6th at the Buell Theatre. For tickets or more information, contact the Denver Center box office 303-893-4100
or online at www.denvercenter.org
PHOTO CREDIT: Joan Marcus
Ta'Rea Campbell, Alysha Deslorieux and Trisha Jeffrey
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