BWW Review: SISTER ACT at The Naples Players is 'Fabulous, Baby!'
Raise your voice! SISTER ACT at The Naples Players is "Fabulous, Baby!"
I had never visited The Naples Players before seeing this production, and I must say, I was delighted by their performance of SISTER ACT. I'm not sure if it was the fact that the theatre is on the smaller side, or that the performers were exceptionally skilled at audience interaction--maybe a bit of both--but it felt like the audience was thoroughly engaged in the show, and I loved it.
The music was excellent; each song invoked either some kind of emotional pull, or a desire to dance. There was a good balance of fast and slow songs, and the performers at The Naples Players did a great job telling the SISTER ACT story through them. The musicians at The Naples Players are clearly very talented. Of course, since the music is by Alan Menken, and the lyrics by Glenn Slater, it's hard to imagine anything less than extraordinary.
Jasmine Vizena is absolutely a star, and she was perfect for the lead role, Deloris. I could easily see her performing on Broadway. She has an exceptional voice and wonderful acting skills, and she carried the show beautifully. Her facial expressions throughout the show were perfect and very emotional, per whatever was happening in each scene, and I appreciated that very much. The ensemble was very engaging and enthusiastic as well, matching Vizena's performance strength.
The comedic timing in this production was also fantastic. Debi Guthery, who played Mother Superior, had some of the best one-liners of the show. You know it's a funny musical when the entire audience is laughing at every single joke. Often, the "looks" that some of the characters would give the audience were enough to make everyone giggle.
Beyond the plethora of comedy in this show, there is a beautiful lesson that Deloris learns. She realizes that she doesn't need all the fame and fortune she once desired, but rather, the love and support of her Sisters. Though she does learn this valuable lesson, there are still some fun nods to the dreams Deloris once had at the end of the show.
SISTER ACT got a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the production; the audience was ecstatic, clapping and dancing along as the cast took their final bows. I highly recommend seeing this production if you want a fun, lively, heartwarming evening (or afternoon). You will have catchy songs like "Fabulous, Baby" and "Take Me To Heaven" stuck in your head for hours afterward, and that is definitely not a bad thing!
SISTER ACT is playing at The Naples Players now through July 30, Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets are $45 for general admission and $10 for students and educators. For tickets, stop by The Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifth Ave. S., Naples, FL, call (239) 263-7990, or check out their website, www.naplesplayers.org
For a sneak peek, check out the videos below: