Sister Act Westchester Broadway Theatre

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 By: Kristen Weyer. Source: The Theatre Guide

 

What do you get when you combine nuns, mobsters, and soul music?  Sister Act! Now playing at Westchester Broadway Theatre, this crazy musical is based on the hit 1992 movie of the same name starring Whoopi Goldberg.  It boasts original music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner with Douglas Carter Beane.  Directed and choreographed here by Donna Drake, Sister Act is entertaining, a little bit campy, and a whole lot of fun.

All that nightclub singer Dolores van Cartier (Zuri Washington) wants, is to be discovered and become famous.  Unfortunately, her life develops complications the night she witnesses her mobster boyfriend, Curtis (Philip Michael Baskerville), commits a murder.  Now a key witness in Curtis’ trial, she is on the run with her career on hold.  Policeman Eddie Souther (Danny Wilfred) knows she needs to be hidden from Curtis and his goons and finds the perfect place: a convent!  However, neither Dolores nor the Mother Superior (Mary Jo McConnell) is particularly happy with this arrangement.  With the church in disrepair and in imminent danger of closing, Dolores brings her own special style to the choir and starts filling the pews.  This brings attention to the church, but attention is exactly what Dolores should avoid…

This cast is wonderful. They perform the drama, energetic musical numbers, and humorous situations equally well.  Zuri Washington shines as Dolores with her powerhouse vocals and hysterical facial expressions. Mary Jo McConnell plays the put-upon Mother Superior perfectly, and blows the audience away in her solo “Haven’t Got a Prayer”.  Danny Wilfred is lovable and charming as policeman Eddie and adds some fantastic humor to the show.  Ken Jennings is very funny as Monsignor O’Hara, while Philip Michael Baskerville makes you love to hate the evil Curtis.  Who doesn’t love bumbling mobsters?  Jayson Elliott, Corben Williams, and Jason Long do wonderfully in their comedic roles as Curtis’ trio of goons; I defy you not to laugh during “Lady in the Long Black Dress”.  Not to fear, your three favorite nuns are also present.  Crotchety old-timer Sister Mary Lazarus, bubbly Sister Mary Patrick, and quiet Sister Mary Roberts are played by Sandy Rosenberg, Katelyn Lauria, and Lani Corson, respectively.  Their amusing, quirky characters are just what you’re hoping for, and their singing talents are a pleasure to hear.  The entire ensemble does a wonderful job, with spot-on singing, and enthusiastic dancing.

The set by designer Steve Loftus is clever and adequately portrays the desired settings.  The stone arches of the cloisters are quite lovely.  Great, and eventually, sparkly costumes by Heather Carey complete the scenes, along with the fantastically performed score by the orchestra under the direction of Bob Bray. With an amusing premise and fun music, Sister Act will leave you with toes tapping and a smile on your face.