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Thursday, February 24, 2011
CASTING: Sister Act
Being in the shadow of such a popular film might be off-putting. And, a cast of nuns and criminals could be a hard sell if the cast isn't just so, no matter how beloved the original is. That said, recent cast announcements give me faith (pardon my vernacular) the things are moving in the right direction, potential-wise. I love the film version - every time it is on TV, no matter where it is in the story, I watch from that point on. So I have been wary of the stage version. I sincerely hope that it as much fun as they say it is, and that I leave the theatre loving this new take on a favorite story.
The major thing that has shifted my view more positively is the casting of the glorious musical theatre actress Victoria Clark as the Mother Superior. She has nothing in common with the delicious Maggie Smith, and since they couldn't get her, perhaps it bodes well that they have cast someone completely against the original. And let's face it, Ms. Clark is no slouch on the stage. I can't wait to see what she does with the role, and I just pray they give her some excellent material to work with.
Friends and followers of this blog have been long on praise for the show's lead, Patina Miller. Anyone with an opinion on her has told me she simply oozes charisma. Most saw her in Central Park in the Hair revival, but one reader told me she saw the show in London and found Ms. Miller to be hilarious and "easy to watch." And, heck, if Whoopi approved her, what better hands could we be in?
So, what about the supporting cast and ensemble? Like most of the Broadway shows this season, it is a splendid mix of veterans, up and comers and debutantes.
The supporting company includes: Fred Applegate (Young Frankenstein, La Cage aux Folles) as Monsignor, Sarah Bolt (Wicked) as Sister Mary Patrick, John Treacy Egan (The Producers, The Little Mermaid) as Joey, Demond Green (The Toxic Avenger) as TJ, Chester Gregory (Dreamgirls, Tarzan) as Eddie, Kingsley Leggs (The Color Purple) as Curtis, Marla Mindelle (South Pacific) as Sister Mary Robert, Audrie Neenan (Picnic) as Sister Mary Lazarus and Caesar Samayoa (The Pee-wee Herman Show) as Pablo.
The ensemble includes: Jennifer Allen (Memphis, A Catered Affair), Natalie Bradshaw (Hair), Charl Brown (debut), Christina DeCicco (The MarvelousWonderettes, Wicked National Tour), Holly Davis (debut), Madeleine Doherty (The Producers), Alan H. Green (Play On!), Blake Hammond (Hairspray, Elf: The Musical), Wendy James (Irving Berlin's White Christmas), Carrie A. Johnson (debut), Kevin Ligon (Finian's Rainbow, The Producers), Louise Madison (debut), Marissa Perry (Hairspray), Ernie Pruneda (debut), Corbin Reid (debut), Lance Roberts (The Pee-wee Herman Show), Rashidra Scott (Hair, Avenue Q), Jennifer Simard (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Shrek), Lael Van Keuren (debut), Roberta Wall (debut) and Alena Watters (The Addams Family, West Side Story).
Here are the sisters in action from The View:
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