By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Four years ago, I was in London studying at the Syracuse University satellite campus.
Among many of the shows that I saw at the West End was Sister Act-the Musical at the London Palladium. I remember watching Patina Miller (the show’s original Deloris for both the UK and Broadway productions) leading the ensemble in impeccable showstoppers including “Raise Your Voice” and “Take Me to Heaven.”
For one week only, the current US tour is playing in Kansas City’s own Music Hall.
I had the opportunity of seeing this production and it will literally take audiences to church. This high-paced, toe-tapping musical has a revival-like feel and successfully transported audiences back to Philadelphia in the late 1970s.
Last night, Mary Searcy stepped into the iconic Whoopi Goldberg role. Her ability to balance both comedic punch lines and belting enormous showstoppers was superb delight to watch and will receive the loudest laughs from the house. In additionally, I believe that she would have made both Whoopi and Patina proud of her performance.
But Ms. Searcy was not the only cast member that shined last night. Original Broadway cast member Chester Gregory stole the show several times with his portrayal of “Sweaty” Eddie Souther. Mr. Gregory’s vocal acrobatics combined his remarkable stage presence made him a crowd favorite. Lynne Wintersteller excellently delivered her take on the hard-nosed Mother Superior and both Florrie Bagel and Ashley Moniz excelled as the loud Mary Patrick and soft-speaking Mary Robert respectively.
Of all the traveling shows that I have seen in my time in Kansas City, I have never seen such a strong group of assembled performers. They gave energetic performances all throughout the night and were successful in retaining the audience’s attention from the first notes of “Take Me to Heaven” to the reprisal of “Raise Your Voice” at the Curtain Call.
Final thoughts & grade: With its incredible ensemble, Sister Act the Musical will make you laugh and smile for an amazing two-hour and 30-minutes joyride to the one of the fictional churches of all-time. A
To learn more about “Sister Act,” visit the show’s website: http://sisteractbroadway.com/
“Sister Act The Musical” is a part of the 2013-14 Kansas City Broadway Series…sponsored by Theater League of Kansas City. To learn more about the Theater League, click here: http://theaterleague.com/kansascity/