It’s springtime. And that means that C. Lee Bates, the Ottawa Valley’s celebrated director of stage musicals, is hard at work. As the driving force behind some of this area’s best-loved shows — among them 9 to 5, Bingo Ladies, The Wonderettes, and The Drowsy Chaperone — C. Lee has a lot to live up to. After all, when you’re batting 1000, your next hit has to be something special.
Holy Cow, is it ever…
May 24th, the Studio Theatre will proudly premiere Sister Act, The Musical, featuring original music by Tony and 8-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Newsies, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, Little Shop of Horrors), with lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, and additional material by Douglas Carter Beane. Nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Sister Act, The Musical is the feel-good smash hit (based on the hugely successful 1992 film) that has had audiences literally dancing in the aisles since it opened in 1995. The Studio Theatre’s production will feature an astonishing cast of this area’s favourite singing and dancing actors, plus a live 7-piece band under the direction of the great Brad Mills.
You remember the story, don’t you?
When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she goes into protective custody in the one place no one would think to look for her — a convent! Disguised as a nun, Deloris finds herself at odds with the rigid lifestyle and the uptight Mother Superior. But soon, using her unique dance moves and singing talent, she breathes new life into the convent and the community. Naturally, when the bad guys finally discover her secret and catch up with her, they’re no match for Deloris and her new-found sisterhood.
Overflowing with powerful multi-genre music, outrageous dancing and a truly moving story, Sister Act, The Musical has wowed audiences (more than 6,000,000 so far!) from Broadway to London, Brazil to Japan, Spain to Singapore. It’s a musical story made in heaven.
Director C. Lee Bates says Sister Act, The Musical far outdoes the 1992 movie for sheer exuberance and phenomenal music.
“The Perth production of Sister Act is an overwhelmingly joyful experience!” she says. “Twenty-two exceptionally talented cast members have been working hard with Brad Mills to learn the challenging four-part harmonies of the soaring disco and rock-gospel music, while getting ‘whipped into shape’ learning the exciting original choreography by Mary Ann Majaury and Kristen Widenmaier. The voices are angelic, and the moves are devilish!”
With a demanding run of ten shows — the longest ever for a Studio Theatre production — the lead role of Deloris will be shared by two consummate performers, Lindsay Rewi and Cait (Morton) Porteous. Each will take the lead in five of the ten performances, and be part of the ensemble cast for the other five. Both young women are Studio Theatre musical veterans, and a big part of why C. Lee Bates loves her job as Stage Director.
“It won’t matter which actor you see in the lead role” says C. Lee. “Lindsay and Cait are both sensational ‘triple threats’ who sing, dance and act with 100% commitment to their role, and to the show as a whole.”
As you can see, this is a major production, featuring 22 on-stage performers, a 7-piece professional band, and more than 20 others handling lights, sound, choreography, props, costumes and set changes behind the scenes — a small army of talented, energized volunteers who are passionate about Perth’s community theatre.
Sister Act, The Musical opens at the Studio Theatre on Thursday, May 24th for ten shows: May 24, 25, 26, 31, June 1, & 2 at 7:30 pm, and May 26 & 27 and June 2 & 3 at 2 pm. Tickets are $27 at Tickets Please, 11 Gore St. E. (613 485-6434 or ticketsplease.ca) and at the door on show nights. Save $5 opening night. Students with ID $10 at the door.
This is the spring musical the Ottawa Valley has been waiting for all year! Don’t miss Sister Act, The Musical when it premieres Thursday, May 24th at the Studio Theatre in Perth. Tickets may sell out for some performances, so get yours early! Visit studiotheatreperth.com for complete details.