Community Players "raised the roof" this past weekend with the dynamic opening of their latest offering, the high-octane musical “Sister Act.”

Based on the popular Whoopi Goldberg film of the same name, this musical version follows the trials of would-be lounge singer Delores Van Cartier, who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, a situation that puts her life in peril.

It seems Delores (Latrisha Green), who had pinned all her future dreams on sleazy nightclub owner Curtis Jackson (Charles Andrews), unwittingly witnesses him committing murder.

As luck would have it, a former classmate, now on the police force, makes arrangements for her to hide out in a failing convent, much to the chagrin of the Mother Superior (Sharon Russell).

The plan is to keep Delores safe until she can testify against the thug in court.

The struggling convent and the church it serves are about to be sold to a pair of antique dealers. Both Monsignor O’Hara and the Mother Superior are at their wits' end and the last thing they need is more trouble.

Out of desperation, Mother Superior asks the Disco Diva to put her skills to work and help the well-intentioned, but tone-deaf, choir. After all, what do they have to lose?

Inspired by Delores (known by the nuns as Sister Mary Clarence), the choir finds its voice, and Delores finds her purpose, just as Curtis and his goons are closing in.

Will a scheduled visit from his Holiness the Pope keep them from harm? Well, of course. After all, who wants to see a musical with an unhappy ending?

Marcia Weiss directs this triumphant spectacle which features stellar performances by Latrisha Green as Delores and Sharon Russell as the Mother Superior. Both woman give strong and thoughtful performances that showcase their impressive vocal talent.

Their work is wonderfully supported by co stars Scott Myers as Monsignor O’Hara, Charles Andrews as Curtis and Archie Jay as Lt. Eddie Southern (Sweaty Eddie].

Comic relief comes courtesy of the goon squad, Joey (Paul Vellella), TJ (Billy Blue), and Pablo (Joe Culpepper), who almost redeem the reputation of the leisure suit. Almost.

Creative (and sparkly) costumes by Opal Virtue, illuminated by lighting designer Mark Wright, complete the visual picture.

The wonderful singing nuns, under the vocal direction of Kyle Hoffman and Rusty Russell, make a joyful noise, indeed. And, thanks to choreographer Chris Terven, they cut a mean rug, too.

Stiller is a freelance writer who reviews plays for The Pantagraph.


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