Let’s not beat around the bush here – Sister Act (directed by Janice Honeyman) is without a doubt one of the best shows I have seen at the Joburg Theatre. And I don’t say that lightly. This slick, polished production manages to achieve what all theatre productions set out to do (but often don’t achieve) – thoroughly entertain and engage the audience from start to finish. Simply put, at the end of the show, I was already looking forward to seeing it again!
To be honest, I was quite skeptical of seeing the theatre adaptation of the hilarious movie, Sister Act – especially as the movie includes epic performances from Whoopie Goldberg and Maggie Smith. Admittedly, I had my doubts as to who on earth could match up to those Hollywood greats on our Joburg stage. Well, I was wrong. Kate Normington is nothing short of phenomenal in her role as Mother Superior – with that rare blend of superb comedic timing, powerful stage presence and unforgettable voice. She had the audience in hysterics one minute and wiping tears from their eyes the next – I would see the show again just to watch her. She is breathtaking.
But Candida Mosoma stole my heart with her powerful take on the role of Deloris Van Cartier, who takes solace in the abbey while waiting to testify against her boyfriend. Not only was she epitome of street smart and mouthy, but also screamingly funny and surprisingly touching. Her command of the stage was staggering – and her interactions with Kate Normington (Mother Superior) were the hit of the show. Not to mention that voice – this woman was BORN to be on stage!
But it gets better. I often find that stage productions lose momentum when the lead roles are off stage. Not so in Sister Act – in fact, quite the opposite. The “thugs” (trying to find Delores before she could testify against her boyfriend, Curtis) perform two of the funniest songs I have ever heard on stage, “When I Find my Baby” and “Lady in the Long Black Dress” – the gentleman next to me laughed so hard that I thought he was going to fall off his chair! Yet another reason why this production is world class – there is not a single moment where you can take your eyes off what is happening on stage. I even resented the interval!
There is so much more to say – the set is spectacular with slick changes between the abbey, police station, club and street. And the nuns – well, let’s just say that I was ready to thrown on my habit and go and join them.
Trust me when I say that you need to see this show – it’s in my top 5 favourite theatre shows of all time!
Dates: Sister Act is on stage until 16 August at the Joburg Theatre.
Times: Tuesdays – Fridays (8pm), Saturday (3pm & 8pm), Sunday (2pm).
Cost: Tickets range from R200 – R350.
How to book: Bookings can be made online at www.joburgtheatre.com or 0861 670 670.