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The Broadway production of “Sister Act”, written by Joseph Howard, opened Tuesday night for a three week run at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Perhaps most notable about this fun, hip-shaking, hand-clapping musical is that the “Sisters” take charge.
From the opening curtain Deloris Van Cartier, played by the voluptuous Ta’Rea Campbell, holds court for the entire performance. She and her co-star, Holly Resnik, who plays Mother Superior, demonstrate why the nuns should be at the helm. Resnik has you believing she really is a nun, whose voice matches that of a pipe organ.
Sisters Mary Robert (Lael Van Keuren), Mary Patrick (Florrie Bagel) and Mary Lazarus (Diane J. Findlay) keep Sister Mary Clarence/Deloris on her toes as she turns the sour-noted choir into the show-stopping ensemble, with costumes to match.
The man who manages to steal a little of the sisters thunder is E. Clayton Cornelious, who plays officer Eddie Souther. He channels Barry White and John Travolta in his sexy number, with a vocal range that goes to the heavens. The other guys get in their share of laughs, especially one hilarious number by the three goons who boss-man Curtis orders around.
The musical score by award-winning composer Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater is not the movie soundtrack, giving the show some depth.
Maybe the Catholic Church could learn a few things from this Motown-style musical. If singing and dancing nuns inspire more Christians (even Jews, so they say) to attend Mass, maybe they’re on to something. Perhaps if a few more Mother Superiors were around to keep “the rest” in line, churches could once again be filled to the rafters. Even if church isn’t your bag, then be sure to catch this funk and disco laden show. It’s a helluva act. Now through July 28; Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 & 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. 6233 Hollywood Blvd. (800)982-2787; Stop by The Bowery on Sunset for a pre-theatre bite and drink. Nice wine and coctail menu, good appetizers, 2 block walk to the theatre.
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