Chanhassen’s ‘Sister Act’ a holy riot

| November 7, 2015 | 0 Comments
Regina Marie Williams is terrific in the stage version of "Sister Act," taking the part played by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie version. The musical runs through February at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Photos by Heidi Bohnenkamp, 2015.

Regina Marie Williams is terrific in the stage version of “Sister Act,” taking the part played by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie version. The musical — which features big-time voices from so many of the nuns — runs through February at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Photos by Heidi Bohnenkamp, 2015.

Hilarious one-liners mix with marvelous lyrics, wonderful singing voices and fun, campy disco music and choreography to make “Sister Act” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres an evening filled with both chuckles and belly laughs. Plus, the director talks about finding inspiration in the words of Pope Francis.

Even if you’re a fan of the Whoopi Goldberg from the movie version of “Sister Act,” you’ll crack up just as much once Minneapolis actor Regina Marie Williams puts on the habit and makes the character of the bogus Sister Mary Clarence her own.

Regina Maria Williams plays the pseudo Sister Clarence, left, along side Norah Long's Mother Superior.

Regina Maria Williams plays the pseudo Sister Clarence, left, along side Norah Long’s Mother Superior.

Then there’s the singing. You’d almost think you were watching “American Idol” once the real nuns find their voices. It’s as if Norah Long and Britta Ollmann are trying to top one another with boffo solos.

If that kind of entertainment isn’t enough to get you to make the drive out Hwy. 5, maybe this from director Michael Brindisi will be persuasive. It’s from the play’s program, the director’s notes:

“How fortunate I was to be home making my final preparations for rehearsal. During that time I had the TV on in the background and was listening to Pope Francis every day. He spoke before Congress, the United Nations, to a girl in Philadelphia, and with each speech I kept thinking, ‘That’s what my play is about — inclusion, acceptance, real connection.’ We can be different and have different opinions but still be friends and maybe learn from each other. I loved it when the Pope said to a crowd of people, ‘Pray for me. If you don’t pray — if you’re not a believer, then send me good wishes.’ I couldn’t believe the level of inclusion. That is truly Christ-like.”

Brindisi ends his notes with these lyrics from “Sister Act”:

All things being even

Here’s what I believe in

Nothing matters more than love.

Friendship and affection

Real connection

It’s a gift from above!

“Sister Act” runs through Feb. 27, 2016. See http://www.chanhassenDT.com for information.

 

 

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Category: Faith and Culture