By Leah Sommercorn
Last night, I was able to appreciate Sister Act, as directed by David Paul Smith, at the SCERA in Orem. This feel-good musical is based on the 1992 movie turned Broadway production of the same name. The star of the movie, Whoopi Goldberg initially produced the musical reprise of the film in London before it opened on Broadway.
Smith and Danielle Berry (Stage Manager) brought Broadway to a small town last night. Their depiction of Sister Act was larger than life and felt as though it was meant for a bigger arena. Shawn Michael Mortensen and Christy Norton, Choreographer/Scenic Designer and Props Designer, respectively, worked together to bring life to the play. Mckenzie Ottley, the Lighting Designer, and Chase Elison, Sound and Lighting Manager, did an impressive job as well. I noticed that in the church, the lights resembled that of a sunset, versus the harsher light that was portrayed during the street scenes. They all work together seamlessly. Of course, a musical would be nothing without the music. Delayne Bluth Dayton, the Music Director really made the play what it is. The music is powerful, fun and evoked some laughs and tears. Last, but certainly not least in the production staff, I’d like to mention Kelsey Seaver, the Costume Designer. It was her work that really took me back in time to the seventies. The colorful jumpsuit that Deloris wears, along with the big collars worn by “the goons” are certainly from another time. A favorite part was the glittery boots given to Sister Mary Robert (Rebecca Soelberg). The color, shine, and sparkle of them are greatly contrasted by the nuns’ clothing.
Becca Rose is delightful as Deloris. Her powerful voice illuminates the room and makes the small theater feel like Broadway. She embodies Deloris in the way I’d imagined the character should be. I especially liked the playful relationship between Rose and Soelberg. My favorite song of the entire play is performed by Soelberg, “The Life I Never Led”. This particular number is very emotional.
Another fun relationship was that of Rose and Enola Breanne Schow, who played Mother Superior. The banter between the two really showcases the distaste that Mother Superior has for Deloris, at least at the beginning of the play. It is quite humorous to watch the disappointment and frustration on Schow’s face. In particular, the musical number “I Haven’t Got a Prayer”, is not only well sung but well portrayed.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hilarious Sister Mary Patrick, played by Randilee Warner. Warner is comedic gold, always getting a great laugh out of the audience. Another crowd pleaser is Marlene Arnold, playing Sister Mary Theresa. Arnold wows everyone with her humor and physical prowess, specifically while doing the splits on stage.
Kyle Baugh is lovable as Sweaty Eddie, frequently wiping his brow, and I really found myself rooting for his character. Baugh’s rendition of “I Could Be That Guy” is heartwarming. The bad guy, Curtis, played by James Murphy, is so believable that he got booed while singing “When I Find My Baby”. The audience really disliked him, and I think that is the mark of a good actor. SCERA Center’s Sister Act is a very enjoyable show that is full of laughs.
SCERA Center for the Arts presents Sister Act The Musical Book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Glenn Slater
SCERA Theatre 745 State St, Orem, UT 84058
April 13 – May 5, 2018, Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 7:30 PM
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