Last night I curiously awaited the start of the opening night performance of the musical Sister Act at Interlakes Theatre. It is based on the film of the same name and features music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater and book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner; with additional material by Douglas Carter Beane.
Though the show is full of talent, it started off rather slow and took a while to build momentum. But I believe the issue there lies in the script and not the performers. As the first act progressed the cast really kicked the show into high gear and got the energy surging throughout the theatre. By the time Delores, wonderfully played by Miki Abraham, and her choir of nuns were singing “Raise Your Voice” and then “Take Me to Heaven (Reprise)” the energy was high and the excitement was jumping off the stage into the audience, which made a great end to the first act. This energetic momentum continued into the opening of the second act with “Sunday Morning Fever” and lasted all the way to the final piece “Spread the Love Around”. All of these numbers superbly showcased precise choreography from Director and Choreographer Brian Feehan.
As with any show, there are hiccups along the way, but what allows the audience to forget all of that are the standout performances given throughout the production. The first I would like to mention is from veteran performer Nancy Barry and her portrayal of Mother Superior. She was not only commanding and witty throughout, but she also brought a good deal of heart to a turning point scene towards the end of the show. Secondly, was the hysterical performance of “Lady in the Long Black Dress” by Mikey LoBalsamo (Joey), Michael Jemison (TJ), and Peter Garza (Pablo). These three had the audience laughing aloud throughout their number. Thirdly, was the incredibly powerful vocal performance by Caitlin Thurnauer (Sister Mary Robert) who sent chills and thrills through the audience during “The Life I Never Led”.
By the time finale rolled around it was clear that this cast had been working very hard to put on a show worthy of a standing ovation. And though difficulties popped up along the way; they pulled it together and nailed their opening night performance and clearly enjoyed their time on stage. No matter how hard the work was, they had the hope that it would all pay off. Luckily, it did, as noted with the boisterous standing ovation that they certainly deserved.
Director and Choreographer Brian Feehan has brought yet another show to life on the Interlakes stage where it plays until August 9th, 2015. Tickets and additional information can be found at www.interlakestheatre.com
For more of my reviews and theatrical thoughts check out: http://intheatresome1isalwayswatching.blogspot.com/