Sisters have 'Act' together - Score: 10
From: New York Post By: Elisabeth Vincentelli Publication Date: 04/20/2011
Big, glitzy numbers are the toast of Broadway musicals. The only thing better? Big, glitzy numbers . . . with nuns! "Sister Act" has plenty of both - and it's one of the season's happiest surprises. Menken evokes the lush, funky sound of Philly soul without falling into mere pastiche: "When I Find My Baby" starts off like bedroom R&B before the lyrics take a hilarious turn. "Take Me to Heaven" and "Spread the Love Around" bloom into full-throttle disco epics, the latter building up to an ecstatic finale.
Broadway Musical 'Sister Act' Will Convert You - Score: 9
From: Associated Press By: Mark Kennedy Publication Date: 04/21/2011
Calibrated to be frothy, giggly and yet often poignant, the Jerry Zaks-directed musical is based on the 1992 movie of the same name starring Whoopi Goldberg, who is now producing. This is a musical that hits all the right spots, achieving something close to Broadway grace. It helps that the musical has great original tunes by songwriter Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater that skitters from Motown, to soul and funk, to disco and even a little jokey Barry White. Menken and Slater, who also teamed up for "The Little Mermaid," know perfectly how to switch up the mood and tempo. (See how their "Take Me to Heaven" transforms from a Donna Summer-like number at the beginning to a religious hymn by the end.)
'Sister Act' makes a joyful noise - Score: 9
From: New Jersey Newsroom By: Michael Sommers Publication Date: 04/21/2011
Regarding the buffet of new Broadway tuners concocted from recent movies: If “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” is too hot and “Catch Me If You Can” is too cold for the taste of middle-of-the-musical-road consumers, then “Sister Act” is juuuuuust right.
'Sister Act' - Score: 9
From: New York Daily News By: Joe Dziemianowicz Publication Date: 04/21/2011
A blessed event has landed on Broadway. "Sister Act," which opened last night, is a feel-good crowd-pleaser worth celebrating. Here are 10 reasons to sing its praises…
Sister Act - Score: 9
From: NY1 By: Roma Torre Publication Date: 04/22/2011
Here we go again. Another film to stage adaptation, but this one's switched it up a bit. "Sister Act," the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg featured a jukebox songbook of disco era tunes. On Broadway, the music is all original and Whoopi is now the producer. How does it rate? Let's just say it's hard to resist when the sisters and a few brothers make such a joyful noise.
'Sister Act' - Score: 8
From: am New York By: Matt Windman Publication Date: 04/20/2011
This has not been a great season for Broadway musicals based on movies. "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" was a total bust, and "Catch Me If You Can" was a disappointment, too. So it's a pleasure to find that "Sister Act," a new adaptation of the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg film comedy, is energetic, hilarious and thoroughly enjoyable. In spite of a few issues, it has all the makings of a feel-good hit.
Whoopi Goldberg's Singing Nuns Rock 'Sister Act' - Score: 8
From: Bloomberg News By: Jeremy Gerard Publication Date: 04/20/2011
Nothing unexpected happens in “Sister Act,” a fairy tale we already know. But it’s delivered with exceptional glee and polish.
Sister Act - Score: 8
From: Entertainment Weekly By: Thom Geier Publication Date: 04/20/2011
You need look no further than Patina Miller, a natural and dynamic performer who proves there's a genuine virtue in the old phrase 'force of habit.' Even when she's tamed her curly 'do behind a long black robe and veil, she brings an irresistible energy to this crowd-pleasing show.
Sister Act - Score: 8
From: The Hollywood Reporter By: David Rooney Publication Date: 04/20/2011
But despite some missteps, Sister Act comes together to provide payoff in laughs, emotional uplift and spectacle. Who doesn't want to see nuns in silver-sequined habits boogie down while a giant Virgin Mary statue subs for a disco ball, and a wall of stained-glass church windows pulses like a multicolored dance floor?
'Sister Act': Most entertaining nuns, bar none - Score: 8
From: USA Today By: Elysa Gardner Publication Date: 04/20/2011
The latest entry, Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy (***½out of four), may be less giddily profane, and thought-provoking, than The Book of Mormon, but it has its own distinct and surprising charms. Composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater provide original tunes that nod cheekily, but with genuine affection, to that pop era while also propelling the story with a style and exuberance specific to well-crafted musical theater.
Sister Act's Charming March of the Penguins - Score: 7
From: New York Magazine By: Scott Brown Publication Date: 04/20/2011
Miller’s an enormous presence, and what she lacks in character detail (there’s precious little to build on in Douglas Carter Beane’s very funny, very thin book) she generally makes up in brass and goodwill. Be warned: This is a show that’s not afraid to do a rappin’ granny number (the same rappin’ granny number, in fact, from The Wedding Singer). If that sort of thing doesn’t put a hitch in your rosary, you’ll likely get religion at Sister Act.
'Sister Act' not exactly habit-forming - Score: 7
From: Newsday By: Linda Winer Publication Date: 04/20/2011
To say that "Sister Act" lacks plot development is probably beside the point. To people who love this show (and, judging from audience reaction at the performance I attended, that will be many), cheerful entertainment is the point. Make that breathlessly cheerful. Relentlessly cheerful. In this corner, OK, make that mindlessly, bafflingly, springtime-for-Hitler-quality cheerful.
Sister Act - Score: 7
From: ScheckOnTheater By: Frank Scheck Publication Date: 04/21/2011
There’s fun, if not musical comedy heaven, to be found in Sister Act, the new Broadway musical adaptation of the hit 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg. Featuring plenty of talent both on and off stage, the show boasts some terrific performances, an engaging ‘70s era-style soul-flavored score, and a few raucous laughs. But its relentlessly juvenile humor eventually proves more wearisome than soul lifting.
Sister Act: A Hard Habit to Break? - Score: 7
From: Village Voice By: Michael Musto Publication Date: 04/20/2011
But while the film's nun numbers (like "I Will Follow Him") were giddy and infectious in a more subtle way, this show opts for glitz, line dancing, and absurdity, as the nuns rap, sing about their "booties," and practically engage in Busby Berkeley configurations. Less would have been more. The score is uneven (there's a lyric that goes "If you got stigmata/Show me yours, I'll show you mine"), but Alan Menken has cooked up some pleasing sounds derived from Philadelphia soul and other nostalgic genres, in between homages to Sondheim and to his own "Beauty and the Beast." And you watch a lot of the show smiling despite yourself. A work of art? No, it isn't even Priscilla. But you could have way less fun with religious people.
Different Church, More Sequins - Score: 5
From: New York Times By: Charles Isherwood Publication Date: 04/20/2011
I wish I could report that the singing nuns from the Church of Philly Soul are giving those perky Mormons in Africa a run for their money in the unholy hilarity department. But when the jubilant choral numbers subside, as inevitably they must, "Sister Act" slumps back into bland musical-theater grooves and mostly lacks the light of invigorating inspiration.
Sister Act - Score: 5
From: Time Out New York By: Adam Feldman Publication Date: 04/20/2011
The part of Deloris Van Cartier was written for a personality performer, and though Patina Miller has many talents-and a voice like a soft-serve ice-cream swirl-she isn't funny in a specific way. (The show may be keeping its heroine's sassiness in check to avoid African-American stereotypes, but it hasn't given her anything else to fill the void.) Victoria Clark is her trusty self as the crusty Mother Superior who butts wimples with Deloris, but the show's only real color is provided in smaller comic roles, such as Demond Green's dim-witted thug and Audrie Neenan's rigid sister. When the show sticks Neenan with rapping-old-lady shtick-both anachronistic and passé-it gives itself over to the sin of inanity, but otherwise it's harmless Broadway filler: an underseasoned Philly cheese steak.
Sister Act - Score: 3
From: Backstage By: Erik Haagensen Publication Date: 04/20/2011
Director Jerry Zaks told The New York Times that he and script reviser Douglas Carter Beane were brought in to retool the West End version of "Sister Act" for Broadway by making the show more believable and less cartoonish. If they've actually done their job, then London must have seen a real doozy. A ramshackle yet agreeable film comedy with plausibility issues has here become an even more ramshackle and outlandish musical comedy that consistently diminishes its source.
Sister Act - Score: 3
From: Variety By: Steven Suskin Publication Date: 04/20/2011
Whoopi Goldberg looms large over the new musical comedy "Sister Act," and that's part of the problem. While she co-produced, Goldberg isn't onstage, and the outsized sense of hilarity mixed with humanity she brought to the 1992 motion picture is sorely missed. Patina Miller makes an altogether impressive Broadway debut as diva-on-the-run Deloris Van Cartier, singing up a veritable storm, but the decision to plaster Goldberg's name on numerous signs outside the theater raises comparisons that flatter neither Miller nor this garish production.