Southern Regional Theatre Company Performing ‘Sister Act’

Who Knew a Convent Could Be So Funny?
Feb 27, 2018
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Nuns have been featured in musicals since at least 1959 when “The Sound of Music” opened on Broadway.

They became comic characters beginning in 1985 when Dan Goggin’s “Nunsense” franchise was launched.

But it would be difficult to imagine a funnier flock – hmm, what’s the word for a group of nuns? –  of cloistered ladies than that found in the current Southern Regional Theatre Co. production of “Sister Act,” to be performed at 7 p.m. from Wednesday, Feb. 28 through Saturday, March 3 in the Joseph P. Echle Theatre in the 9-10 building of the Southern Regional High School.

Here’s the story line, which is set in Philadelphia, in brief:

Deloris Van Cartier (Adina Paciello) is a wannabe disco diva. But she’s stuck in a nightclub owned by her boyfriend Curtis, a gangster (Nick Somodi). She thinks Curtis is going to introduce her to a record producer but when he fails to do so she decides she’s going to split Philly to go out on her own. However before she can leave the nightclub she accidentally stumbles upon Curtis killing a squealing member of his crew.

Deloris is no fool. She runs to a police station seeking safety, with Curtis’ goons hot on her heals. One cop, Eddie (Alex Pallen), whom Deloris knows from her days in school, quickly realizes his old friend is in serious danger and comes up with a perfect witness protection scheme – hide her in a convent!

The strict Mother Superior (Meagan Hoer) isn’t sure she cares for the idea, but Monsignor O’Hara (Hunter Schaffer) convinces her to take Deloris in. Well, Deloris is oil to the Mother Superior’s water and it seems impossible they can ever mix.

Deloris quickly becomes a favorite of the other nuns and certainly improves the quality of their once rather staid – OK, horrible! – choir. But that improvement comes with a price. Curtis sees the choir, which has been asked to perform a special concert for the pope, on TV and recognizes Deloris. Aha, that’s where she’s hiding!

Will Curtis ever hunt down Deloris? Will the Mother Superior and Deloris ever get along? Will Eddie, who has long had a crush on Deloris, ever win her heart? Will the nuns ever sing before the pope?

Nope, no spoilers in this article, you’ll have to see for yourself. It isn’t a spoiler, however, to say the Southern production is funny as hell (oops, can you say that in a convent?).

What a great pick by director Jannah Tabbacchino. High school theater troupes typically have more girls than boys trying out. When you produce a show featuring an entire convent of nuns, casting problems solved. Toss in the fact that the community will get a great night of laughs and, well, bravo!

Tickets for “Sister Act” are $10 for students and $12 for adults. They will be sold at the door, which will open at 6 p.m. Early arrival is recommended as sellouts are anticipated.

— Rick Mellerup

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