If there’s one thing I hate, it’s to see a classic movie adapted for the stage for no apparent reason. Instead of transferring the heart and sassiness that made the movie Sister Act such a classic film, the makers of the Broadway musical, now on its national tour at the Auditorium Theatre, decided to go for tactless and commercial. Some patrons may find this parade of nuns dancing like they had a side job as Rockettes a cute little comic strip of razzamatazz numbers, but I could not stand Sister Act, The Musical. Naturally, all the individual performances are good, and the goofy humor makes this mildly enjoyable, but it pales in comparison to the movie from which it drew its inspiration. The endearing integrity of the film is lost somewhere amid this musical’s unsubtle pandering—bookwriters Cheri and Bill Steinkellner (with Douglas Carter Beane) throw in far too much glitter, make unnecessary drag queen jokes, and inject the word “fabulous” enough to nauseate the gay audiences which they go out of their way to engage. Glenn Slater’s lyrics are occasionally witty, but cheap, and Alan Menkin’s derivative music is almost uniformly forgettable, save the rousing chorus number “Raise Your Voice,” around which the entire musical is framed, and may be the only thing which any of us remember once the nun-dust settles. If you can forgive Whoopi Goldberg for producing this mess, then do yourself a favor: dust off your old VHS copy of the Sister Act, watch, and forget this musical ever happened.
photos by Joan Marcus
The Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University in Chicago
scheduled to end on December 2, 2012
for tickets, call 800-775-2000 or visit http://www.BroadwayInChicago.com
for info on this and other Chicago Theater, visit http://www.TheatreinChicago.com