By Brianna Baxter 1-29-2013
“Sister Act,” the stage musical, made for a more entertaining two hour experience than the movie version starring Whoopie Goldberg. The musical adaption is playing at the Boston Opera House for two weeks. The lighthearted comedy takes place in 1970s Philadelphia. Deloris Van Cartieri (Ta’Rea Campbell) is an aspiring singer who is down on her luck. When Delores witnesses her club owner boyfriend, Curtis Jackson (Kingsley Leggs), murder a member of his own mob, she heads to the police. They place her in a location that no one, including herself, would suspect…a covenant where she is disguised as a nun.
The show one-ups the movie with its amazing vocal performances lead by Ta’Rea Campbell whose range outshines Whoopie Goldberg’s. Another unexpected delight is Lael Van Keuren who plays Mary Robert, the youngest nun at the covenant. Deloris helps her to find her voice and Mary Robert suddenly steals the show singing,“The Life I Never Led.’’ It was one of the best vocal performances of the night.
Aside from the music numbers, what makes “Sister Ac”t such an enjoyable show is the good-natured humor appropriate for all ages. It confronts societal views of African-Americans and the Catholic Church during the 70 in a fun and goofy fashion. It avoids being offensive by giving an overall message that divine and true friendship can surpass stereotypes.
Although it isn’t a classic, the show features a talented cast, a hysterical plot and a positive message.