Review: SISTER ACT Offers a Sparkling Tribute to the Universal Power of Friendship, Sisterhood and Music

Review: SISTER ACT Offers a Sparkling Tribute to the Universal Power of Friendship, Sisterhood and Music

SISTER ACT is a feel-good musical comedy smash hit based on the 1992 film that has audiences ready to rejoice! Featuring original music by Tony® and 8-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Disney's Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Enchanted), dazzling dance routines and songs inspired by Motown, soul and disco, SISTER ACT qualifies as the funniest and funkiest musical around.

Lately this popular musical has been performed at many theaters in the greater Los Angeles area, each one brilliant in its own right. But I have to say I have never seen one more perfectly cast than the current production at the Simi Valley Cultural Center with the amazingly talented Elizabeth Adabale as Deloris Van Cartier, a disco diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder.

Review: SISTER ACT Offers a Sparkling Tribute to the Universal Power of Friendship, Sisterhood and MusicMs. Adabale shines like a super star every moment she is on the stage with her glorious voice raising the roof during each of her numbers, especially "Raise Your Voice" and "Take Me to Heaven." After rocking the stage leading a trio sounding just as good as The Supremes (with Tara Cox as Michele and Shandar Robinson as Tina), Deloris happens to cross the path of her manager Curtis (Richard Gray) just as he guns down Ernie (Justin James), one of his gang members.

After going on the run, Deloris is put under protective custody by the cop Eddie Review: SISTER ACT Offers a Sparkling Tribute to the Universal Power of Friendship, Sisterhood and Music(Jeremy Whatley whose sexy Barry White-inspired song stylings will dazzle every woman in the audience), one of her former high school classmates she used to call "Sweaty Eddie," and is hidden in the one place she won't be found - a Convent! Disguised as a nun and under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior (Stephanie Lesh-Farrell), Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own while leading the church choir to spectacular new heights.

It's very apparent that the entire cast performs each role with pure joy that makes every scene such fun to watch. Review: SISTER ACT Offers a Sparkling Tribute to the Universal Power of Friendship, Sisterhood and MusicStandouts among the nuns are Julianne Sillona who shines as novice Sister Mary Robert singing "The Life I Never Led" and Sindy McKay as rapping Sister Mary Lazarus. Chris Clonts humorously transforms Monsignor O'Hara into a thoroughly hip host of the church choir fundraiser once their fame fills the pews. Curtis' remaining trio of thugs, Philip McBride as Joey, Augusto Guardada as Pablo, Alexander Reaves as TJ, light up the stage with their comic seduction scenes during "Lady in the Long Black Dress."

Director/producer Fred Helsel is to be commended for making the entire production Review: SISTER ACT Offers a Sparkling Tribute to the Universal Power of Friendship, Sisterhood and Musicsparkle by using more than just the stage area for many scenes, bringing the audience more closely into the action. Musical director Mazie Rudolph keeps the cast harmonizing beautifully with the orchestra attentive and enthusiastic, with Keenon Hooks' choreography a wonder to behold on such a small stage. Seth Kamenow and his entire design team are to be commended for how set pieces are moved and reused to create the many different scenes required. And this show would not be a visually spectacular without the glorious production number costumes designed by Ken Patton.

Review: SISTER ACT Offers a Sparkling Tribute to the Universal Power of Friendship, Sisterhood and MusicSISTER ACT is a sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, sisterhood and music. Come and see why this fabulous show has been seen by more than 6 million people worldwide. Performances continue through February 18 at 8 pm Friday & Saturday and 2 pm on Sunday, plus 8 pm on Thursday, February 15 and 2 pm on Saturday, February 17 at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center located at 3050 E Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley, CA. (Appropriately the facility started as a church, making this show a perfect fit there!) Tickets are $25 Adults, $22 Students/Seniors 60 & Above, and $18 Children 12 & Under and can be purchased online at www.simi-arts.org or by calling (805) 583-7900.

Photo credit: Jon Neftali Photography


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