A spectacular, wonderful Sister Act

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

You will never see a better production of Sister Act, now at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. The Walnut Street has outdone itself.  With each character cast from strength, this is the musical to see this month. Simply put, there isn’t a bad performance to be seen the entire night.

The indomitable, the irrepressible Alan Mencken strikes again. How does this guy do it? His music is as fresh as the day it first saw the light of day in 2009.  Here’s Mr. Mencken singing “Raise Your Voice” from Sister Act on a Theater Talk episode:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck8maGoNtyI  The Book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, Lyrics by Glenn Slater, and additional book material by gay genius Douglas Carter Beane all shine brightly. Now set in Philadelphia, this Sister Act is a bright, witty, kaleidoscopic adventure.

The huge cast was stellar, with many of the lead performers having appeared in the spectacular musical Memphis. To name just a few standouts in a marvelous cast, were Philip Michael Baskerville (Curtis), Laura Giknis (Sister Mary Robert), Melissa Joy Hart (Sister Mary Patrick), Mary Martello (Mother Superior), Kent Overshown (Eddie Souther), Ron Wisniski (Monsignor O’Hara), and Dan’yelle Williamson (Deloris Van Cartier). Not to be forgotten were the fantastic pit musicians led by Douglass G. Lutz. They sounded great.

Scenic Design by Peter Barbieri was inventive and sparkling. The costume Design by Gail Baldoni must have used more real sparkles than exist in all of Disney’s brightest dreams. Lighting and sound (by Jack Muehler and David Temby) were first-rate. The choreography was exciting and joyful. We have Richard Stafford to thank both for the Choreography and for Direction. Under Mr. Stafford’s direction, each character became warm, real people and not just characters.

Do yourself a favor and see Sister Act.

Sister Act is the final production of the current season. It will be onstage until July 17. For information about the musical, visit http://www.walnutstreettheatre.org/season/show/sister-act?gclid=CjwKEAjwsr-6BRCLvrj785rbhTsSJADjUxakELsFp7VksGVzfo4sti4S72H-VHoy4ks6ex0hDZ79rxoCNJ7w_wcB

For information about their 2016-2017 season, visit http://www.walnutstreettheatre.org/season/mainstage.2016.php

If you happen to need a major injection of GLBT fabulousness into your life, see Charles Busch’s Psycho Beach Party at the Walnut Street Theatre’s Studio 5 starring the extraordinary Pissi Myles. But hurry. Its run ends June 5. https://www.walnutstreettheatre.org/season/other-comps.php




Read Related Posts...