Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Take Me to Heaven

In June of 2009, I walked out of the theater in London high as could be over a new musical I had just seen. And tonight, my friend Kathi and I continued our Tuesday night 'New Broadway Musicals tour' and saw the transfer of that show to Broadway. Sister Act received the most Outer Critic nominations this morning with nine including Best Musical & Best Score - and the score Alan Menken has written is wonderful! I loved it the first time and loved it even more this time. I'm thrilled he wanted to move the story to the 70s so he could write a true disco score - and I have to say I never missed the music from the movie. 

I'm thankful Douglas Carter Beane was brought in to 'funny' up the script...and he did! Some really clever one-liners have been added to beef up the book (that needed some help). The audience goes crazy when the nuns are on stage. When they are not, you feel the audience wanting them back. But for me, those other moments were great as I got to see the wonderful Broadway performer John Treacy Egan (from The Producers) shine in a great role...and also remember him before he was a big Broadway star when he sang on a demo tape for a musical of mine back in 1998. Patina Miller is still a star that shines so brightly in the main role made famous by Whoopi in the movie - and I can't believe she played the role so long in London and can still give so much. Victoria Clark (who is wonderful in anything she does) gives another layered performance as the Mother Superior. 

Yes, it still bothers me the nuns get a song before they learn to actually 'sing', but it is musical comedy after all. A fun night that I recommend to all! (Even though the woman next to me tried to ruin the night for me since she saw the show was set in the 70s and she thought she was at the movies watching Shaft and talking back to the stage as if trying to tell Richard Roundtree what his next move should be...some people should just stay home and watch TV.)   

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