Whoopi Goldberg stopped by Late Night With Seth Meyers November 11 to chat about all things The View and her upcoming turn in the new London production of Sister Act. A new 2020 revival of the musical, based on the film of the same name, was announced earlier this year. Goldberg will play Deloris Van Cartier, the role she played in the movie in 1992.
In the original, Deloris, a club singer and girlfriend of a mob boss, witnesses a crime, so the police hid her in a convent. Though she has trouble fitting in at first, her musical chops transform the church choir and the revives the spirit of the nunnery. The musical adaptation originally bowed on Broadway in 2011 with a book by Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner, and additional text by Douglas Carter Beane, plus music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater. Goldberg was a producer on the original production and is a producer of this new 2020 London bow.
But how did she wind up landing the lead role—again?
“We tried to a really long time to get them to make Sister Act 3,” Goldberg told Meyers, “and everybody kept saying to us, ‘No one wants to see that. It's an old title.’” I said, ‘I'm an old broad. Why would it be a bad thing?’
“When they said ‘We want to take it back on the stage...You wanna do it?’ And I said, ‘Yeah if I could play Dolores.’ And they said, ‘Would you?’ And I said, ‘Well, you’d have to explain that she’s a little older.’”
The production is set to bow at the Eventim Apollo in July of next year. Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) will play Mother Superior, which Goldberg played in the original West End production for a limited engagement.
What has Goldberg learned from this? “Don’t underestimate something because you think it's too old,” she said. “Don’t ever count something out, because it could be the thing that breaks the internet.”