'Sister Act- The Musical' -London Palladium 2009

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Much has been said on here, in the press, etc since the confirmation of the show last October as the London Palladiums next big musical.
Many think that it is the wrong choice theatre for this show and I agree- the Palladium seems to be regarded by all as more of a home for slightly more high brow musicals.

The fact it is yet another movie to stage show is another factor that make people back a way just a little.
The show had mixed reviews in its original US run almost 2 years ago which makes it again all a little more incredible that it was chosen to open on such a grand scale, in a city like London and at the huge London Palladium.
Then we get Whoopi! Just her name attached to it seems to make people think it will sell- why? her name is above the title amongst the list of producers not as a star draw name!
Then they announce the cast. As Delores we get an American actress that is totally unknown in the UK except amongst hardened theatre fans (even I, at this moment, know nothing of her past!). A very clever bit of casting was to get a great British favorite for the Mother Superior, we get the divine Sheila Hancock. Ian Lavender is a good enough name thru years of 'Dads Army' repeats and his brief run in 'Eastenders'. That's it!
I have never really taken to the idea of this as a stage musical but will see it with an open mind as I did rather enjoy the original movie.
All this doesn't really sound like a great build up to its opening here.
THEN
I suddenly remember it has a score by one of the worlds greatest musical theate composers, Alan Menken who is joined by Glen Slater. Mr Menkens list of musical hits and mega hits is impressive enough to make a lot of people see the show and thats the main reason why I will be going.
It just seems that one of its biggest possible selling points, the fact it comes from the writer of 'Little Shop Of Horrors', 'Beauty And The Beast', 'The Little Mermaid', 'Aladdin' and so many more is being largely ignored.
'Sister Act- The Musical' -London Palladium 2009
Just my thoughts as to why I wasn't excited to see 'Sister Act' - I just have to keep reminding myself when I see that awful art work that I will hear Sheila Hancock sing Alan Menken, thats enough for me.

I, of course, wish it well, but I think 'Priscilla' will be heels ahead when they both open in the West End in the next 6 weeks!




Updated On: 4/6/09 at 08:27 AM
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Hear, hear, Mama! Menken rocks! I didn't even like the movie but I'm really excited about seeing the show purely because it has a Menken score.

I agree with what you say about the casting of Delores too. The First Cover is Debbie Kurup, who is more than capable of wowing audiences in the role and who has a track record of great performances in West End lead roles (Rent, Tonight's the Night, Chicago). So it seems quite fatuous to cast an American who is not even that well known in the USA let alone the UK.
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re: 'Sister Act- The Musical' -London Palladium
Such a shame Sharon D. Clark didn't get to do this production.
She is a know name in the UK through her TV work and has a great reputation in the theatre world also. Boy would she sing those gospel based numbers 'Sister act' must be riddled with.
Just watch out for her in the summer at the Hackney Empire in 'Once On This Island'.
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OOh they're doing Once in this Island???? Lovely!!! And Sharon D Clarke is fab!
However, the way that Deloris is written now is more suited to actresses like Patina and Debbie - they've gone in a different direction, I suppose. In terms of Patina, yep they've taken a risk on an unknown American actress, but she's outstanding. Check out her on YouTube, there's a fair bit around - particularly check out her solos in Hair recently.
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Totally agree with the introduction.

This musical has got Lord of the Rings written all over it!
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'Lord Of The Rings' belonged in the O2 Dome which is funny as that is where they want it to return to whenever this much talked about European production gets under way.
Yea right!
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I don't understand - another Lord of the Rings how?
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Ive just listened to a live recording of the Atlanta production. Most of the music is pretty good with some great production numbers and great voices. It needs a lot of work done to bring it up to West End standard which i hope they have done. As it is on the recording its got many weak points.
There's some great Menken work in there.
It could be a great show if staged carefully.

Updated On: 3/31/09 at 12:52 PM
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Updated On: 3/31/09 at 01:15 PM
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I doubt anything will have changed. Why would it? I mean its gonna make big at the box office anyway. I couldn't care less about this show and how successful it is, I know that's wrong but oh well! I hate Sister Act and the onyl time I've ever thoroughly enjoyed Menken is Little Shop...and even that's pushing it. I don't see luke-h*** and Sister Act the musical getting along...
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according to the Sister Act Facebook page Whoopi is going to be making a number of appearences on tv and radio in the next week.

"Chris Moyles-BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, from 8am on Friday April 3rd Friday Night With Jonathan Ross-Friday April 3rd Steve Wright-BBC Radio 2 from 2pm Monday April 6th GMTV-Monday April 6th The Paul O'Grady Show-Tuesday April 7th Loose Women-Wednesday April 8th. And look out for the 1st cast appearance on Paul O Grady soon...! "

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/London-United-Kingdom/Sister-Act-The-Musical/39111782780?ref=ts
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Clever lady!
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Yes. Very excited about this musical. Alan and I had linch when he was here working on the workshop this time last year, and many, many changes have been done. The 2nd act had been totally re-worked, lots of new songs and other new elements, I am sure.

I am happy it's in The London Palladium. it is certainly a bold choice for a theatre. However Saturday Night Fever played there for a while... we don't know the scale of this production - maybe the cast is large and they need a wide set.

It's also opening just in time for the American crowd to really hit London - which should do well to boost its US sales - before it probably heads over to Broadway. The producers who are staging this production (Whoopi aside) also have Hairspray on... so, at least they've a reputable hit in London!

And, yes, of course it's great it's a brand new book musical written by Alan and Glenn. With REAL SONGS! Not pop hits. If they just took the re-worked pop songs from the movie and re-worked them again for the stage show, it would be lazy and very, very disappointing.
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On one hand it's great that they are using new songs, but part of the charm of the film was watching the nuns come to terms with funky versions of known songs that wouldn't normally be associated with church music. To be fair, the comedy in the film relied, in part, on it being a new thing, and it's far from new these days. It would have been nice to have at least a couple of known songs included as a nod in that direction.

Whoopie is such an engaging woman to promote a musical that I think a lot of people will want to go based on her involvement. I hope the show can do that justice and that they make it the best show it can possibly be.
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She came over as such a lovely lady on Mr Ross last night.
I've always liked her but last there was a great warmth coming through that you don't get seeing her in stand up comedy or most of her movies.
If she brought he famous stand up here it would be a huge success and going by the hints she gave last night we may well see it in the near future.

The interview for those who missed it:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psDaCXL0MXo
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGzzkb8QRoo

Updated On: 4/4/09 at 03:04 PM
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Negotiations are underway to make a 'Making Of Sister Act' video for release later in the year, along the same lines as that of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'.
These things always have a lot of wrinkles to iron out before they become available.
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Where can i see the chitty chitt bang bang video? It sounds interesting
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Its been available for some time now obviously but you may get in places like Dress Circle.
Amazon has one at $35re: 'Sister Act- The Musical' -London Palladium
Updated On: 4/6/09 at 02:18 PM
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I wish more shows did these, the Chitty ones good, as is the Bombay Dreams one. On VHS you can get Les Miz, Miss Saigon (both on dvd now), Copacabana, Martin Guerre all making of's
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The finale as seen on 'The Making Of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg0PxYdt_CU


I have all of those mentioned above but have yet to transfer them.
There are also the 100s that were made for TV that were never intended for VHS or DVD and never will be available- 'The Witches Of Eastwick', 'The Lion King', 'Mary Poppins' etc etc to name just two.
Updated On: 4/6/09 at 02:30 PM
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The Witches of Eastwick one is all on Youtube in about 6 parts I think, not bad
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Yep thats the one.
...also the Palladium 'Oliver' got a making of just for TV.
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I'm going to see the oliver one
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My interest in this has risen greatly now after hearing the songs they just released. Gotta love Alan Menken!
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