Hallelujah! Sister Act Begins Broadway Previews March 24

By Adam Hetrick
24 Mar 2011

Patina Miller
Patina Miller
Photo by Krissie Fullerton

Broadway gets into the habit March 24 when the new musical Sister Act, the disco-scored stage production based on the 1992 film comedy about a nun on the run, begins previews at the Broadway Theatre.

Sister Act arrives on Broadway after a London run at the Palladium Theatre, which concluded in October 2010. American actress Patina Miller, who earned an Olivier Award nomination for originating the role of Deloris Van Cartier in London, repeats her work for the Broadway run.

Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks (Guys and Dolls, The Addams Family) directs Sister Act, which will officially open April 20. Whoopi Goldberg, who also serves as a producer of the stage musical, created the role of Deloris Van Cartier on film. She produces Sister Act along with Stage Entertainment.

Sister Act has a score by Academy Award winner Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and Glenn Slater (Love Never Dies). The original book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner has been spruced up for Broadway by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane (The Little Dog Laughed, Xanadu).



"I…didn't want to write [Sister Act] in a Motown style, because, frankly, I had already done that with Little Shop of Horrors," composer Menken told Playbill.com in 2010, when his Leap of Faith was getting a tryout in Los Angeles. "I had always wanted to write a disco musical. I had always wanted to write a musical that pulled on all those fabulous styles from the '70s. And I thought this was a perfect opportunity for it, and Glenn [Slater] and I embraced that opportunity."

Read the recent Playbill magazine feature about Sister Act.

The Sister Act cast also boasts Tony Award winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) as Mother Superior, Fred Applegate (Young Frankenstein) as Monsignor, Sarah Bolt (Wicked) as Sister Mary Patrick, John Treacy Egan (The Producers) as Joey, Demond Green (The Toxic Avenger) as TJ, Chester Gregory (Dreamgirls) as Eddie, Kingsley Leggs (The Color Purple) as Curtis, Marla Mindelle (South Pacific) as Sister Mary Robert, Audrie Neenan (Picnic) as Sister Mary Lazarus and Caesar Samayoa (The Pee-wee Herman Show) as Pablo.

The Sister Act ensemble includes Jennifer Allen, Natalie Bradshaw, Charl Brown, Christina DeCicco, Holly Davis, Madeleine Doherty, Alan H. Green, Blake Hammond, Wendy James, Carrie A. Johnson, Kevin Ligon, Louise Madison, Marissa Perry, Ernie Pruneda, Corbin Reid, Lance Roberts, Rashidra Scott, Jennifer Simard, Lael Van Keuren, Roberta Wall and Alena Watters.

The Broadway production features the work of original London creative team members, including choreographer Anthony Van Laast, scenic designer Klara Zieglerova, costume designer Lez Brotherston and lighting designer Natasha Katz. John Shivers is the sound designer for the Broadway run.

Michael Kosarin serves as musical supervisor, with dance music arrangements by Mark Hummel, orchestrations by Doug Besterman and electronic music by Andy Barrett. Music director is Brent-Alan Huffman.

According to producers, "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 uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community, but in doing so blows her cover. Soon the gang are giving chase, only to find themselves up against Deloris and the power of her new found Sister Hood."

The Broadway Theatre is located at 1681 Broadway. For tickets phone (212) 239-6200, or visit Telecharge.com.

Visit SisterActtheMusical.