Sister Act at Marriott Theatre

Music by Alan Menkin sister-act-8224

Lyrics by Glenn Slater

Book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner

Directed by Don Stephenson

Music Direction by Doug Peck

Choreography by Melissa Zaremba

At Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire

An immaculate concept takes center stage at the Marriott in Lincolnshire with Sister Act

The first rule of singing is to get the rafters ringing and were they ever ringing! As you enter the cathedral like theatre (Thomas M Ryan-scenic designer) in the round it is easy to escape for the next couple of hours, but don’t think that counts as church! Sister Act is a treat as sweet as a sunny Sunday afternoon. If I wasn’t already Catholic I would surely convert after seeing this heavenly show. After all, the world’s an oyster when you’re living in a cloister. Ok, enough of the catchy show tunes let’s move on.

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Set in Philadelphia in the 1970’s soul musician Deloris Van Catier (Stephanie Umoh) wants to make it big, see her name in lights, and is seeking fame and fortune. Her deadbeat married gangster boyfriend Curtis Jackson (Byron Glenn Willis) doesn’t believe she’s ready to hit it big time yet and instead lures her with fur coats and an unknown future. Deloris accidentally witnesses her two-timing man shoot one of his own dead to the ground. She feverously tries to get out of there without making a scene and runs directly to the police department to report the murder. There she runs into Eddie aka Sweaty Eddie (Jonathon Butler-Duplesses) who she knew from high school and remembers he always had a crush on her. Eddie admitted that he still does and wants to protect her from the thugs until the case goes to trial. His idea for the witness protection program is to enter the local convent to protect her. Eddie also happens takes the house down with “I Could Be That Guy.”

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Welcome to the convent Deloris aka Sr. Mary Clarence. Mother Superior (Hollis Resnik) is a traditionalist and very protective of her flock. She initially rejects the idea but knows that the good Lord has a plan for all and maybe there is a reason for her being there. The Sisters are all very happy and very fascinated by her street wise wit and ask her to please lead them in prayer (a very funny moment). The very colorful Monsignor O’Hara (Don Forston) delivers the bad news to Mother Superior that the church attendance is down and the church is running out of funds and must close. Meanwhile Sr. Mary Clarence is asked to lead the choir and she shows them the way to take them heaven.

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The songs are fun, delightful, inspiring and meaningful. The choreography (Melissa Zaremba) was placed and paced nicely. The fantastic costume designs by the never disappointing Nancy Missimi.
Sr. Mary Clarence makes some lovely friendships along the way and finally figures out what is important. The cast is impressive and the songs are thought provoking. Standout numbers, “The Life I Never Led” by Sr. Mary Robert (Tiffany Tatreau), “I Haven’t Got a Prayer” Mother Superior (Hollis Resnik) and the final number “Spread the Love Around” by the company. This is a really fun show and you should go see it. You will feel good and so will your family! The Diva’s do believ-a and so should you!

Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Sally Jo Osborne

Sjosborne2009@gmail.com

 reviewed February 18, 2016

Jeff Recommended

Tickets available for performances at The Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847-634-0200, go to www.MarriottTheatre.com, or visit www.theatreinchicago.com

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