Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Sister Act" is a Class Comedy Act



"Sister Act" is a Class Comedy Act

by Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith

I went to see Sister Act, the Movie in 1992 armed with twelve years of Catholic Education with the Penguins as we called them but more reverently, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary or IHM.  I went with the same armor but a little more jaded and the laughter came more easily as the sting of the stringent years and the smile of the loving care of the sisters of the IHM wore off.   I wanted to write this review much sooner but unlike the holy water in the Catholic Church, the bottled water that I took to the musical on opening night did not ward off the flu.

The Glorious Nuns ensemble, voices raised! Photo, Joan Marcus
If you were going to Sister Act, the Musical expecting to see the same plot as the movie and hear the same songs, then you got a pleasant surprise.  You will not hear “My Guy” or “I Will Follow Him.” You will however hear a Comic rendition of “It’s Good to Be a Nun.  You will not hear “Rescue Me” but you will hear a rousing rendition of “Take Me to Heaven.”  "If My Sister's In Trouble" is suitably replaced by “Sister Act”

And then there is irreverence with “Lady in the Long Black Dress” and “When I Find My Baby” by the gangster Curtis played by Kingsley Leggs.  He was so good as Delores’s murderous boyfriend that at the finale, everyone got rousing applause except him. He was the villain you loved to hate even after the play was over.
I found it delightful that Delores in the beginning of the musical downplays her energy and feistiness but really comes into her own in the habit of a nun as the director of the choir.  Well done Ta’Rea Campbell.  

 Other characters who were larger than life Sweaty Eddie played by Pittsburgh native E. Clayton Cornelius, big voice on a not so large guy and his comic antics were titan.  Absolutely the best casting however was the Mother Superior played by Hollis Resnik with her classical voice and almost Shakespearean portrayal which makes it even more hysterical when she takes the stage in the finale in a sequined habit to dance with Delores Van Cartier.  But kudos also have to be given to the casting of Lael Van Kuren as Sister Mary Robert—truly a little girl with a big voice who shined in “The Life I Never Lead.”

 
Finale  Sisters in Sequins, Disco Madonna, photo  by Joan Marcus
The Somber Scenery except for the church makes quite a statement   with the Disco Madonna in the finale and the silver sequined nun’s habits.  Richard Pruitt’s Monsignor O’Hara was inspired with his Barry White imitations.

And Sister Mary Patrick (Florrie Bagel) and Sister Mary Lazarus (Diane Findlay) gave new meaning to madcap hysteria and anachronistic rapping respectively. Because of them if you weren’t smiling when you entered the theater you were definitely smiling on your way out.

The Audience laughed out loud at Sister Act especially at the end with the Disco Madonna and the nuns dressed in silver sequin habits in the finale.  As the preview by-line stated: 
“A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, SISTER ACT is reason to REJOICE!”
 Radio Host and Serial Blogger, Joanne Quinn-Smith is the host of PositivelyPittsburghLive™ Internet Talkcast and TechnoGrannyShow™  On her shows, Joanne has interviewed over 1800 guests.  As an advocate for small Business, she was awarded the National Small Business Administration Journalist of the Year Award.  She is also the publisher of PositivelyPittsburghLiveMagazine.com which is a 2010 National Stevie Award finalist for best Media Website or Blog. PPL Mag features the GOOD NEWS, about Pittsburgh  and is  Pittsburgh’s First internet radio and TV network. PPL Mag attracted 2.25 million visitors last year.  Her radio network has accumulated over one million listeners. The Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, Joanne also teaches her online media platform building to small businesses in a client personalized, “Web2.0 Gorilla Branding Training™”.  Connect with Joanne at:  http://joannequinnsmith.com


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