May 2017

Sister Act: A Righteous Good Time!

Author: Andrea Gannon | Photographer: TR Media world

“Big, glitzy numbers are the toast of Broadway musicals. The only thing better? Big, glitzy numbers… with nuns!”
—New York Post

The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina’s spring musical comedy, based on the hit 1992 film, Sister Act, is more than reason to rejoice! The local production, which is the regional premier of Sister Act, will be onstage through May 21. The show features songs you’ll remember long after the curtain comes down, rafter-blowing performances and dazzling production numbers. Hint: there are more sequins in the musical than the movie. Another significant difference from the film version is that Sister Act: The Musical is set in 1977, so get ready to groove to everything from disco and funk to Motown-sounds and soul.

The show centers around dynamic Vegas diva, Deloris Van Cartier (played by Natalie Renee), an aspiring lounge singer who is hiding out in a convent in protective custody after she witnesses her boyfriend murder one of his henchmen. Forced to wear a habit to blend in, Deloris clashes with Mother Superior (Leslie Alexander) and begins to lead her fellow sisters astray—until she finds her calling: teaching them to sing. But this is not your typical choir practice! With funky dance moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community, but, in doing so, inadvertently blows her cover. Soon, the gang is after her, and well… you’ll have to see the rest for yourself.

Directed by New York City’s Evan Pappas (new to the Arts Center), Sister Act has 18 talented cast members, most of whom reside and work in New York City. “I feel so blessed that I was able to assemble this cast for this huge, glorious musical. One thing I personally love about this production, is that this is my style of music from growing up in the ’70s and ’80s. Every aspect of it—the dancing, the singing, the music, the story—makes Sister Act truly a crowd-pleaser,” Pappas said.

Musical director Bob Bray (Broadway’s Matilda, plus four previous Arts Center shows) and choreographer Vincent Ortega are a part of the powerhouse creative team as well. The ’70s-inspired lighting design is by VP of production, Brian Riley, and costume design is the vision of costume shop manager Eloise Petro. (Petro says a few surprises are in store.) Scenic design is by Sabrinna Cox, and sound design by Warren Pace.

“I’m astounded by the high level of production value here at the Arts Center: costumes, set, props… everything. It’s truly top notch,” said Pappas, who has worked many theaters across the country (and even across the pond in London’s West End).

Sister Act’s original music is by Tony- and eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken (who has garnered eight Oscars, 12 Grammys and a Tony for his scores, and was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame), and lyricist Glenn Slater (2011 Grammy Winner; 2010 Oscar and Golden Globe nominee; and for Sister Act, a 2011 Tony nominee for Best Score). The music-making duo has collaborated numerous times and to great acclaim. In fact, this uplifting musical was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2011.

Elysa Gardner of USA Today said of the team, “Menken and Slater provide original tunes that nod cheekily, but with genuine affection, to the ’70s pop era, while also propelling the story with a style and exuberance specific to well-crafted musical theater.”

With powerful gospel music, outrageous dancing and a truly moving story, Sister Act will leave audiences breathless. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, Sister Act will give Arts Center audiences a reason to stand up and cheer this spring! 

Tickets are $57 for adults and $39 for children. Get yours today by calling the Arts Center box office at (843) 842-ARTS (2787) or by visiting online at artshhi.com.

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