In Play Reviews

Nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier (Kristin Robinson) had no plans to devote a chunk of her life to staying in a convent. But in Sister Act, Lakewood Theatre‘s last production of the 2017-2018 season, that is exactly what happens.

It’s Christmas Eve 1977, somewhere in Philadelphia, and convents are the last thing on Deloris’s mind. Indeed, she and her friends Michelle (Laura Hiszczynskyj) and Tina (Camille Trinka) indulge in a little gossip, speculating about the fur coat Deloris hopes to get under the Christmas tree from her boyfriend, Curtis (Greg Prosser).

Unfortunately, Curtis is not a nice man. Rather than receive that new fur coat, Deloris walks in on a gangland execution. Curtis believes someone ratted on him, and is taking care of business. Afraid Deloris will rat, he plans to get rid of her as well. But she’s too quick for him. After running to the police station where she encounters a former school friend, “Sweaty” Eddie (Jeremy Southard), she is whisked into a witness protection program at a nearby convent filled with dreary nuns who can’t sing.

Deloris is horrified that she is not allowed to smoke, drink, or use colorful language. But imagine the horror of the sisters when they learn who’s living with them. Fortunately, both parties have something in common–the love of music. Can’t sing? That’s about to change, baby! Deloris knows how to fix it!

Pictured left to right: Christine Greenhalgh, Kristin Robinson, Tracy Chiappone, and Leslie Irene Gale in the musical Sister Act at Lakewood Theatre Company April 27 – June 10, 2018. Photo by Triumphy Photography.

Based on the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, this rollicking musical comedy was written by Cheri and Bill Steinkeller, with additional material by Douglas Carter Beane, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Glenn Slater. The play enjoyed a regional premiere in Pasadena in 2006, and hit the London stage in June, 2009. It is directed and choreographed by Michael Snider, with musical direction by Cyndy Ramsey-Rier.

The play’s magic lies in Menken’s music, and its delivery by an entire stage full of singing nuns. Leading it all, however, is Kristin Robinson, who absolutely rocks it as Deloris. The plot is silly fun, and there’s even a new romance in store for Deloris–if she can escape the menacing Curtis and the nasty things he wants to do to her (detailed in the song “When I Find My Baby”).

The show runs through June 10, and promises great fun for all ages.

 

 

 

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