Almost exactly ten years ago, the musical about lounge singer Deloris van Cartier debuted at the Pasadena Playhouse before going on tour through the U.S. (including a run on Broadway), England, Italy, Austria, France and Germany. Finally, ‘Sister Act – a Heavenly Musical’ is premiering at the Theater des Westens in Berlin. The storyline is nearly identical to the one in the film of the same name from 1992, featuring Whoopi Goldberg.
The story takes place in Philadelphia in 1978. Desperate for fame, singer Deloris just isn’t getting the recognition she feels she deserves. Her shady boyfriend Curtis, who is actually married to another woman, doesn’t really support her but instead makes a lot of empty promises. Deloris accidentally sees Curtis murdering one of his henchmen and runs away. Her friend Eddie the policeman hides her in a convent.
The stylish singer with her bubbly personality doesn’t fit into the religious establishment. Nor is she appreciated by the staid Mother Superior, who refuses at first to give Deloris sanctuary but is forced to relent in the end. As Sister Mary Clarence, Deloris gets to know the other nuns while also learning a lot about friendship and loyalty. After all, the nuns have to pull together, since Deloris is still being pursued.
At the same time, she takes over the direction of the bad choir, boosts the nuns’ self-confidence and also helps fill the church coffer. When the Pope announces that he is coming to the concert, the criminals gradually make their way toward Deloris, and chaos ensues.
Whoopi Goldberg’s self-produced musical features a soundtrack written entirely by Alan Menken, a highly experienced composer who has worked on a number of Disney films and has won Oscars and Golden Globes throughout his career. All the songs are performed in German and are truly catchy numbers that perfectly capture the jazz and soul sound of the Philadelphia lounge scene.
The actors do a splendid job, dazzling audiences with their great singing voices and winsome characters. The musical also has its fair share of comical moments. Aisata Blackman plays the main role of Deloris for the first time, taking over from Zodwa Selele, who played her in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Oberhausen. Among the other members of the Berlin cast are Daniela Ziegler as Mother Superior, Mischa Mang as Curtis and Hino Emnes as Eddie.
The sets are absolutely stunning, as are the actors’ many costumes, with breathtaking glitter and glamour everywhere you look. The lightning-fast costume changes are spectacular, almost like a magic trick. A character swaps clothing in the blink of an eye and reappears on stage in a completely different outfit. Now that’s how you put on a show!
Sister Act is a musical for all ages. Fans of the film – even without the most famous songs from the original, the new soundtrack is excellent – and newcomers are sure to enjoy it. It’s a kind-hearted performance full of wit and charm, and one of the season’s best productions at the Theater des Westens.
More information at: http://www.stage-entertainment.de/musicals-shows/berlin/sister-act/show/sister-act-berlin.html