Back in the Habit: Menken Pens Sister Act Musical to Debut in Pasadena Playhouse Season | Playbill

News Back in the Habit: Menken Pens Sister Act Musical to Debut in Pasadena Playhouse Season
The world premiere of the musical Sister Act, based on the 1992 feature film, highlights the upcoming season at Pasadena Playhouse, which also includes new takes on Sherlock Holmes and As You Like It.

Alan Menken
Alan Menken Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast) pens original music for the movie-turned-musical with lyrics by Glenn Slater (Newyorkers, That's Life). Cheri and Bill Steinkellner provide the book based on the screenplay by Joseph Howard. Peter Schneider will direct the work slated to start Oct. 24, 2006 for a run through Nov. 26.

"When disco club singer Deloris Van Cartier is placed in protective custody in a dying convent, her unique brand of funk comes face-to-face with the traditions of the church and the strict order is in for a change," reads a release for the new work. "Masquerading as a nun named Mary Clarence, this Sister's act will have you laughing and singing in the aisles."

Menken and Slater recently collaborated on the animated "Home on the Range" and were also developing the musical version of "Leap of Faith." The composer has previously teamed with Disney on "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast," "Pocahantas" "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Hercules."

The 1992 movie starred Whoopi Goldberg in the role of the singer-turned-sister opposite Maggie Smith and Kathy Najimy as her habit brethren. Harvey Keitel Also appeared in the film directed by Emile Ardolino.

Playhouse’s 2006 season will also feature (subject to change):  


  • Diva by Howard Michael Gould (Jan. 13-Feb. 19)
    Director David Lee stages this comedy which takes a "behind-the-scenes look at television's most egomaniacal diva."  



  • William Shakespeare's As You Like It, adapted by Alison Carey (March 10 April 16)
    Bill Rauch directs the world premiere adaptation presented in association with Cornerstone Theater Company which resets Shakespeare's tale to "a modern America obsessed with red states, blue states, political power and cultural identity."  



  • Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, adapted by Stephen Dietz (May 5 June 11)
    Teaming with Arizona Theatre Company, the Playhouse presents this world premiere penned by the author of Fiction, Lonely Planet, God's Country and more. Based on a WC Gillette story, the great mystery solver returns to the stage in this new work. David Ira Goldstein directs  



  • The Marriage Musicals (June 30-Aug. 6)
    Pasadena audiences will get double matrimony tuners when Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones' I Do! I Do! performs in repertory with Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years. One final production is yet to be announced to fill the Aug. 25-Oct. 1 slot in the lineup. Subscriptions for the Playhouse 2006 season are currently available. Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Ave. in Pasadena, CA. For more information, call (626) 356-PLAY or visit


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