The Broadway musical SISTER ACT will play its final Broadway performance today, Sunday, August 26, 2012, prior to kicking off a North American tour on October 2 at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre. Upon closing after a 16-month run, the Broadway production will have played 28 previews and 561 performances at the Broadway Theatre. Below, BroadwayWorld takes you on a multimedia flashback through SISTER ACT's divine Broadway journey!
SISTER ACT features an original score with music by multi-Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning composer Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Enchanted), lyrics by Tony and Academy Award-nominee and Grammy-winner Glenn Slater (Tangled, The Little Mermaid), and a book by multi-Emmy Award winners Cheri and Bill Steinkellner ("Cheers") with additional book material by Tony and Olivier Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu, The Little Dog Laughed).
Directed on Broadway by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks (Guys and Dolls, A Funny Thing...Forum, Smokey Joe's Café), the production features choreography by Tony and Olivier Award nominee Anthony Van Laast (Mamma Mia, Bombay Dreams) and is based on the Touchstone Pictures motion picture, Sister Act written by Joseph Howard.
The Broadway company of SISTER ACT features Raven-Symone in the leading role of Deloris Van Cartier (previously played in the run by Tony and Olivier Award nominee Patina Miller), Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello as Mother Superior (previously played by Victoria Clark), Fred Applegate as Monsignor, Sarah Bolt as Sister Mary Patrick, John Treacy Egan as Joey, Demond Green as TJ, Chester Gregory as Eddie, Kingsley Leggs as Curtis, Marla Mindelle as Sister Mary Robert, Audrie Neenan as Sister Mary Lazarus and Caesar Samayoa as Pablo.
SISTER ACT tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe disco diva whose life takes an unexpected turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look-a convent! Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, SISTER ACT features an original Alan Menken/Glenn Slater score with a vast inspiration of musical styles from Motown, soul and funk to great big disco anthems and Barry White inspired musical comedy.
SISTER ACT had its world premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse in the fall of 2006, followed by a production at Atlanta's ALLIANCE THEATRE in the winter of 2007. The West End production began previews at London's Palladium Theatre on May 7, 2009, and concluded its run there on October 30, 2010. The Broadway production began preview performances on March 24, 2011, and officially opened on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at the Broadway Theatre.
Check out photos from the production and opening night curtain calls below, plus a video from the opening night celebrations!
A long-standing opening night tradition on the Great White Way, the fabled Gypsy Robe is bestowed upon a veteran Broadway chorus member for each opening production. In what has now become a theatrical ritual, originating on Broadway 60 years ago, SISTER ACT cast member Kevin Ligon received the Gypsy Robe, and BroadwayWorld was there for the celebration. At the song and dance ceremony, cast members who were making their Broadway debuts were acknowledged at the center of the stage. Ligon then proceeded to circle the room in the robe in celebration with the entire SISTER ACT family.
The 2011 Tony Award nominees were announced live from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York City on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. The next day, proud nominees gathered at the Millenium Hotel in Times Square to celebrate and meet the press. Broadway Beat was on hand, of course, to speak with all of the proud nominees. Below is an interview with Patina Miller, Best Lead Actress in a Musical nominee for SISTER ACT. Miller is best known for originating the role of the disco diva wannabe Deloris Van Cartier in the 2009 West End run of SISTER ACT, which she transferred to Broadway.
Next is a clip of BroadwayWorld's pre-Tony Awards interview with Victoria Clark, Best Featured Actress in a Musical nominee for SISTER ACT. Clark won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical in 2005 for her performance in The Light in the Piazza. She also won the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Joseph Jefferson Award for her performance in the role.
Overall, SISTER ACT received five 2011 Tony Award nominations: BEST MUSICAL, BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (Alan Menken (music)/ Glenn Slater (lyrics)), BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL (Cheri & Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane), BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL (Patina Miller) and BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL (Victoria Clark).
On July 19, 2011, the musical celebrated its 100th performance on Broadway. Stars Patina Miller and Victoria Clark were on hand for the celebration with the company. Below is a look backstage during the celebration.
In November 2011, Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello assumed the role of Mother Superior in SISTER ACT, taking over the role from Victoria Clark. Raven-Symone also took over the leading role of Deloris Van Cartier from Patina Miller in March 2012. Scroll down for a look at Carmello in habit and first footage of Symone on stage!
A global phenomenon, SISTER ACT has been seen by more than three million audience members across the globe. The musical currently has three productions worldwide: in Hamburg, Vienna, and on tour throughout the UK.
SISTER ACT recently enjoyed a very successful limited run in Milan and there are upcoming productions scheduled to begin in Paris (September 2012), in Stuttgart (December 2012), and in Scheveningen, Holland (March, 2013). There are also upcoming productions in Moscow, Madrid, Prague, Sao Paolo, South Korea, and Japan.
Congratulations on a great Broadway run! See you around the world, SISTER ACT!