Thursday, July 08, 2010

Whoopi's Bringing Her Act To Broadway

Whoopi's Bringing Her Act To Broadway

UPDATE: October 5, 2010

Today, it was announced that the Sister Act musical will come to Broadway in Spring 2011. Update: On October 5, it was further announced that Sister Act would play the Broadway Theatre with previews starting on March 24, 2011, and opening night scheduled for April 20.

This stage version of Whoopi Goldberg's hit 1992 film originated at the Pasedena Playhouse in November 2006, but it's been in London where the show's been fine-tuned over the last year or so.

While the woman born as Caryn Elaine Johnson will retain the production credit she earned in the current West End version, Jerry Zaks is being brought in to direct the Main Stem incarnation. Sister Act currently boasts a book from Cheri and Bill Steinkellner and original score by Glenn Slater and Alan Menken.

Patina Miller stepped into Goldberg's shoes as Doloris van Cartier for the London production, but Goldberg herself is set to step into the habit of Mother Superior currently worn by British stage veteran Sheila Hancock this August.

As for the Broadway staging, there is still no word on casting, venue or firm dates. But could Goldberg active participation in the London production serve as a harbinger of what's to come on the Great White Way?

I'm saying my prayers.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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At 08 July, 2010, Blogger Kevin Daly said...

Shame it's not better. The score is quite lousy and lacking the charms that made the film such a success.

At 08 July, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Given its new director, I can't help but wonder how much the score and book will change.

At 08 July, 2010, Blogger Kevin Daly said...

It's always interesting when someone else takes charge. I wonder if the same will be said for "Yank!" this fall. In spite of the critical salvos, it could use some considerable work.

At 08 July, 2010, Blogger Kevin Daly said...

That said - a huge chunk of the film's success is due to the pop songs turned novelty for the nuns. Original songs (esp. those written for the musical) cannot capture the same spirit. Kudos to the always impeccable Marc Shaiman for his work there.

At 08 July, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I completely agree that the charm of the film was the spirited (or is that spiritual) use of all those old Motown hits. But if they clung to those, the stage show would have been brutally savaged by critics for having nothing original, right?!

At 08 July, 2010, Blogger Kevin Daly said...

Yes. Which is why I personally feel it shouldn't be a stage musical. I think there's very little that's original in adapting "Sister Act" to the stage in the first place.

I am glad that Patina Miller is having great success because she is immensely talented, but I just wish the show around her were equal to her talents.

Plus, now it's a delight for me to just rewatch the original film because of all the great Broadwayites who are involved as choir nuns: Susan Johnson, Ruth Kobart, Susan Browning, Beth Fowler, etc.

At 08 July, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I guess I'll withhold any judgment until I've seen it (and for the record, I have not heard the cast recording).


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