An audience-pleaser that started with Whoopi Goldberg in a film 27 years ago, Sister Act has been a subsequent stage hit as an Alan Menken-Glenn Slater musical for 13 years. Why? Crowds love funny funs. While the movie has Whoopi, the musical has knee-slapping, gaily choreographed ensemble numbers with the sisters like “Raise Your Voice,” “Take Me To Heaven” and the show-closing “Spread the Love Around.” Otherwise, Sister Act is about five songs longer than it should be.
San Diego Musical Theatre’s production of Sister Act is reliable and showbizzy, with the aptly named Miriam Dance in the starring role of Deloris Van Cartier, the aspiring performer who is hidden away in a convent for witness protection. Dance, along with Sandy Campbell as the Mother Superior, are first-rate. So is the orchestra conducted by Don Le Master. On opening night, the proceedings were plagued by some sound problems, but the rapt patrons didn’t seem to notice a bit.
(Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 5/1/19.)
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.