PHOTO CALL: A First Look at Raven-Symoné as Sister Act's Deloris Van Cartier
By Matthew Blank
Raven-Symoné will be the new wimple-wearing disco diva of Broadway's Sister Act. The television star will succeed Tony and Olivier Award nominee Patina Miller March 27.
Symoné, known for television's "That's So Raven" and her early years on "The Cosby Show," will take over the role of Deloris Van Cartier, a street-wise nightclub singer who hides out in a convent after witnessing a murder.
Miller, who created the role in the original West End and Broadway productions of Sister Act, will play her final performance March 18. She earned Olivier and Tony Award nominations for her work.
"Performing on Broadway has always been a dream of mine and I am beyond thrilled to be making my debut with this role in such a fantastic show," Symoné said in a statement. "Sister Act has everything – amazing songs, hilarious jokes and a fabulous lead character you can root for – I can't wait to get onstage and share her story with audiences eight times a week."
The cast of Sister Act also features two-time Tony nominee Carolee Carmello (Parade, Lestat, Saving Aimee) 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.
Tony Award-winning director Jerry Zaks (Guys and Dolls, The Addams Family) directed Sister Act, which has a book by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane (The Little Dog Laughed, Xanadu), as well as Emmy winners Cheri and Bill Steinkellner. It opened on Broadway April 20, 2011.
Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and lyricist Glenn Slater (Love Never Dies) penned the score. Sister Act received Tony nominations for Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical.
Sister Act features the work of choreographer Anthony Van Laast, scenic designer Klara Zieglerova, costume designer Lez Brotherston, lighting designer Natasha Katz and sound designer John Shivers.
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."
Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment produce Sister Act.
The Broadway Theatre is located at 1681 Broadway. For tickets phone (212) 239-6200, or visit Telecharge.com.
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