Sister Act the Musical

Previewed 7 May 2009, Opened 2 June 2009, Closed 30 October 2010 at the London Palladium

When Disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder she is put in protective custody in the one place cops are sure she won't be found - a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and an up tight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir Deloris breaths new life into the church and the surrounding community, but in doing so blows her cover. Soon the gang is giving chase only to find them up against Deloris and the power of her new found Sister Hood.

The original cast featured Patina Miller as 'Deloris Van Cartier / Sister Mary Clarence', Sheila Hancock as 'Mother Superior' and Ian Lavender as 'Monsignor Howard' with Chris Jarman as 'Shank', Ako Mitchell as 'Eddie', Katie Rowley Jones as 'Sister Mary Robert', Nicolas Colicos as 'Bomes', Ivan de Freitas as 'Denero', Thomas Goodridge as 'TJ', Claire Greenway as 'Sister Mary Patrick' and Julia Sutton as 'Sister Mary Lazarus'. Directed by Peter Schneider with choreography by Anthony Van Laast, sets by Klara Zieglerova, costumes by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Natasha Katz and sound by Mick Potter. Musical with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater with book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner. Anthony Van Laast's London credits include Blaze at the Peacock Theatre in 2010.

"Sister Act the movie had Whoopi Goldberg and Maggie Smith. Sister Act the Musical boasts a rotating statue of the Virgin Mary, as sparkly as a glitterball and the size of a large upended truck. It's safe to say the stage show trumps the film -- at least for aficionados of serious kitsch, for whom it should become a site of pilgrimage to rival Hairspray and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The original was set in 1990s Reno and San Francisco; here, we're transported to disco-era Philadelphia... The show's ultimate message is as warm as woollen mittens: self-centred Deloris learns the true meaning of sisterhood. Though it seems more than a tad disingenuous when she sings: 'I don't need a spotlight'." The Sunday Times

"Is it just one more commercially-inspired movie-to-musical makeover to add to what's already a very long list? The stage version has a new score, but doesn't wander far from the film in which Whoopi Goldberg starred as Deloris, a singer in a tacky club who sees her sleazeball gangster boyfriend gun down an informer. Being a murder witness means that Deloris will be next on the hit list, so she seeks sanctuary in the local convent... The point of the story is mutual salvation: hard-bitten Deloris puts soul (and Motown and gospel) into the sisters' voices, shows them how to do the cancan, and discovers the voice of her own soul - as well as some restraint. One of the show's numbers wittily parodies Barry White, but there's no single roof-raising tune to sing about, nor are there enough good jokes. I giggled when Deloris, with characteristic coarseness, tells the nuns to 'sing from their diaphragms or whatever nuns have instead', but I'm not sure everyone in the audience got it. Still, Patina Miller's Deloris is fabulous and I'm a sucker for nuns in sequins. A muted hallelujah." The Mail on Sunday

"It's a powerhouse stage version of the original but now with a disco theme, featuring songs like Sunday Morning Fever and enough glitter to makeover the pearly gates. US actress Patina Miller takes on Whoopi Goldberg's role of Deloris, the club singer who's witnessed a murder and is hiding out in a convent. Patina sings like an angel but tends towards thigh-slapping panto posturing in the few scenes she's not given a tune. Acting honours go to Sheila Hancock as the overprotective Mother Superior and a groovin' gran of a Sister Mary Lazarus (Julia Sutton). If you loved the movie you'll find it's lost some of its soul in translation by Cheers writing team Cheri and Bill Steinkellner. But with music by eight-times Oscar winner Alan Menken and belly-laugh lyrics by Glenn Slater you'll forgive the slow-burn start as the nuns soon raise the church roof." The News of the World

Based on the smash-hit movie, Sister Act in London features a score by eight time Oscar winner Alan Menken. The stage adaptation was originally produced at the Pasadena Playhouse in the USA in November 2006. The original film of Sister Act was released in 1992 and features Whoopi Goldberg as 'Deloris Van Cartier / Sister Mary Clarence' along with Maggie Smith as the 'Mother Superior', who both reprised their roles two years later in the sequel, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.

Sister Act in London previewed from 7 May 2009, opened on 2 June 2009 and closed on 30 October 2010.