The screen-to-stage musical comedy premiered on 2 June 2009 (previews from 7 May) at the Palladium, where, as reported last month, it was previously due to finish on 1 January 2011 to make way for Really Useful Group theatre owner Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz. Sister Act will now finish at that address on 30 October 2010.
Transplanted to 1970s Philadelphia, Sister Act tells the story of disco diva Deloris, who, after witnessing a murder and being put in protective police custody in a convent, brings some soul to the church choir, much to the initial consternation of the Mother Superior.
The musical has an original score by Alan Menken with lyrics by his long-time collaborator Glenn Slater. Whatsonstage.com Award winner Patina Miller stars as Deloris Van Cartier, the part played in the original 1992 film by Whoopi Goldberg, who is co-producing the West End premiere (See News, 14 Nov 2008). The cast also features Sheila Hancock playing the Mother Superior, Julia Sutton, Ian Lavender and, from 31 May, Simon Webbe.
Commenting on the show’s movements, Bill Taylor, CEO of producers Stage Entertainment UK & USA, said: “Forgive the pun but we’ve had a truly heavenly time at the Palladium! It was always the deal with the Really Useful Group that we would leave to make way for The Wizard of Oz and I want to thank every single person who has been involved in making Sister Act such a success there. It has given us the perfect springboard for launching this uplifting show around the world, establishing Sister Act as a wonderful new musical title with global potential. We’re all very excited about the next few years and the prospect of the show running in different cities, from our new London home, to Broadway and Hamburg and beyond. It’s going to be a busy few years for Deloris Van Cartier and her sisters!”
The Wizard of Oz starts performances at the Palladium on 29 March 2010. No productions have been announced for the interim, though a limited engagement for the stage adaptation of White Christmas, which has had regional festive runs over the past few years has been rumoured.