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Sister Act not quite the smash hit I was expecting.
Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy
Member Name: devongirlie
Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy
Advantages: Shelia Hancock, some of the songs.
Disadvantages: Some of the songs, not much too it.
Sister Act is currently on at the London Palladium just off Oxford Street and stars Shelia Hancock (of Over the Rainbow fame) as the Mother Superior, Patina Miller as Dolores Van Cartier and Simon Webbe as Shank.
The story goes as follows:
Dolores, a night club singer, witnesses her boyfriend Shank, a local gangster, murder someone and runs straight to the police. The police put her into hiding until the trial comes up and the only place they can think to do this is in the local convent. Dolores of course, does not fit in and soon starts to make her mark by taking the nuns out to a bar and then taking over the running of their chior. Soon the nuns are singing liking a gospel choir and the crowds are flocking in to Sunday services. The press take note and boyfriend Shank figures out where Dolores is hiding.
It's not a very strong storyline. I spent half the show wondering why the police hadn't arrested Shank the moment he was reported as having murdered someone, instead of leaving him free to hunt Dolores down. And the other half wondering why Shelia Hancock seemed to be the only one exempt from using an American accent.
These occur frequently, it is musical after all, but some of them seem to be there for their own purposes rather than to move the story forward. It's like the writers thought, 'oh, this isn't quite as long as we thought it would be, lets shove another song in'. The best songs are on the ones where the choir are singing, lets face it, that is what the story is about after all and those are the only songs in the original film (although I believe these are not the exact songs).
I watched the show with my 9 and 12 year old daughters and my 12 year old said, 'It's just a load of songs with a bit of talking in between.' She had it about right.
Having said that, she did thoroughly enjoy it, pronouncing it 'really good' at the end, which is high praise from an almost-teenager! She even wanted the soundtrack. Something I talked her out of. Listening to it live on stage is one thing, having it on in the car all the way home is something else.
As a show it is entertaining. The sets are very glitzy with lots of things moving around the stage during the songs and at the change of scenes. The costumes are quite glitzy too, especially when the nuns are 'performing'. The acting is good, although Shelia Hancock wipes the floor with everyone else. And it's funny.
The biggest disappointment was Patina Miller, who is American, but sounded like she had a fake accent and just wasn't as 'big' in the role as the character called for. I know following Whoopi Goldberg is an ask (she was in the original film) but for me I just wasn't convinced by her.
If you are thinking of seeing this show, and I haven't put you off, then you should act fast. It's finishing at the end of October. It's probably worth a look, if you can get cheap tickets and enjoy your entertainment with very little substance.
Summary: If you find yourself with little to do...
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