Producers of the show have confirmed that the Hollywood star will return to the West End for just five performances: one on Friday 22 October 2010 followed by two performances on both Saturday 23 and Monday 25 October.
Goldberg had been scheduled to appear in the musical for 23 performances from 10 to 31 August 2010, but gave her last performance on 26 August before flying back to America to be with her mother after she suffered a severe stroke, and subsequently died. Theatregoers who had booked tickets to her cancelled appearances will have priority in booking for the newly announced performances.
Bill Taylor, chief executive of Sister Act producers Stage Entertainment UK, speaking about the news said: “Everyone knows what a special person Whoopi is but that she is committed to returning and completing her run at the London Palladium leaves me speechless in admiration.”
Sally Dexter, who has been playing Mother Superior in the show since Goldberg's departure will continue in the role until the end of the musical's run on 30 October 2010.
Sister Act stars Patina Miller, who won this year’s Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Deloris van Cartier, the lounge singer put in protective custody in a convent after witnessing a murder – the part played in the original 1992 film by Goldberg.
The current cast also features: Simon Webbe as Curtis Shanks and Ian Lavender as the Monsignor, as well as Ako Mitchell, Katie Rowley Jones, Claire Greenway, Jacqueline Clarke, Nicholas Colicos, Thomas Goodridge and Ivan De Freitas. The screen-to-stage adaptation has a score by Alan Menken and a book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner.
Sister Act opened at the Palladium on 2 June 2009 (previews from 7 May) and must close on 30 October 2010 to make way for next year’s reality TV-cast production of The Wizard of Oz. Producers announced in May that they’re looking for a new West End home for Sister Act – while also preparing for a Broadway opening in spring 2011, a UK tour in autumn 2011 and various international productions – but no new London address has yet been announced.