|Subject: Sheila Hancock to star in Sister Act: The Musical|
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Date Posted: Thursday, January 29, 06:38:38pm
The £7 million stage show will have its world premiere at the London Palladium in June. It will be produced by Whoopi Goldberg, who played the lead in the 1992 comedy.
Goldberg originally starred as Deloris Van Cartier, a Las Vegas club singer who witnesses a Mafia murder and seeks refuge in a convent, where she breathes new life into the nuns' choir.
Hancock, 75, will play the formidable Mother Superior, portrayed in the film by Dame Maggie Smith. Patina Miller, a 24-year-old US actress, will take the role of Deloris. If the show is a hit it will transfer to Broadway.
Goldberg told The Daily Telegraph she was "thrilled" to cast Hancock, the Olivier Award-winning actress and wife of the late John Thaw. "Sheila Hancock is one of those people who you just look at and think, 'If only I could be half as good.' I felt the same about Maggie Smith. To have someone of Sheila's stature is fantastic because it's just what this show needs."
The actress is launching Sister Act during a testing time for theatreland. The West End enjoyed a record year in 2008, but there have been gloomy predictions about the coming year as the recession takes hold. Musicals are proving more resilient than plays, and Goldberg hopes Sister Act will emulate the success of Mamma Mia!, Dirty Dancing and Hairspray, which have prospered despite the downturn.
"People want to be entertained - they want something that says, 'You know what? It's rough out there but let's have fun.' In the Depression of the 1930s, people went to the cinema to spend their last five cents. That's when people fell in love with Shirley Temple, because she offered a haven from the realities of life. Theatre has that same effect. Our aim is to deliver a fun, exciting show."
The musical will not be a carbon copy of the film, which took $250 million at the box office. Deloris has been transformed into a talented singer, unlike the hopelessly out-of-tune character played by Goldberg. The Motown soundtrack has been replaced by a score from the Oscar-winning Alan Menken, whose credits include Little Shop of Horrors and Beauty and the Beast.
Goldberg, star of Ghost and The Colour Purple, said she was not tempted to appear in the show herself: "Are you kidding me? Are you nuts? I'm 53. I can't do eight shows a week of anything. And it's written for people who can actually sing."
Sister Act opens on June 2, with previews from May 7. "It was the general consensus that we would have a richer time in London than anywhere. If you're going to open out of town, then London's the out of town you want to be in," said Goldberg.
- Re: Sheila Hancock to star in Sister Act: The Musical -- Theresa H, Friday, January 30, 02:50:09am
- Re: Sheila Hancock to star in Sister Act: The Musical -- Theresa H, Friday, January 30, 03:08:00am
- Re: Sheila Hancock to star in Sister Act: The Musical -- Leila, Friday, January 30, 04:44:11am
- Re: Sheila Hancock to star in Sister Act: The Musical -- Theresa H, Friday, January 30, 07:13:21am
- Re: Sheila Hancock to star in Sister Act: The Musical -- Theresa H, Sunday, February 01, 09:04:24pm
- Re: Sheila Hancock to star in Sister Act: The Musical -- Theresa H, Thursday, February 05, 06:19:10am