Popular Brodway Musical ‘Sister Act’ is remembered at the Opera House

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Dan Olson  Journal Staff

The Broadway hit-musical Sister Act was performed in Boston at the Opera House through the weekend of Feb. 3.  Fans of the original 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg were defintely in for a surprise but were not disappointed.  A new musical score has been added, written by Glenn Slater and Alan Menken; but not to worry, it’s the music that has truly become the new star of the show.

Lonely nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier, played by Ta’Rea Campbell, witnesses her boyfriend Curtis Jackson, played by Kingsley Leggs, commit a murder.  She is hidden in a convent run by Mother Superior, played by Hollis Resnik, until she can testify in court.  Her new friends, Sister Mary Patrick and Mary Robert, played by Florrie Bagel and Lael Van Keuren respectively, help Deloris teach the nuns how to sing to spice up their service mass. Hilarity ensues.

Audiences were left tapping their feet and even dancing as the curtain came down, humming the catchy tunes and reliving the new moments in the story.  The Act I show stopper “Raise Your Voice” had the audience particularly engaged, giving the show a “Disneyesque” feel.  The finale “Spread the Love,” presented special effects that practically turned the theatre into a disco, – everyone leaped up in excitement at the sight of singing, sparkling, dancing nuns.

Campbell and Resnik were the clear stand outs in the cast, playing their characters with such conviction that they were utterly believable.  Campbell created a character that was well-developed and did not play homage to Goldberg’s original but rather approached the role from fresh eyes.  Deloris has a rocky relationship with Mother Superior throughout the musical, and Hollis Resnik played the aggravation and stress of her character very convincingly.  Other notable mentions in the cast included Leggs, Bagel, Van Keuren and E. Clayton Cornelious as “Sweaty Eddie.”

Overall, the show was a fantastic experience, preaching the value of teamwork and living life to the fullest.  However, the show seemed a hard sell in this city, having only played performances for just over a week.