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‘Sister Act’ Review: 'Sunday Morning Fever'

Yewande Odetoyinbo and Amie Lytle, Kara Chu Nelson, Carolyn Saxon, Kira Trolio, Meghan Rose, Cheryl McMahon, Kathy St. George, and Beth Gotha.
Yewande Odetoyinbo and Amie Lytle, Kara Chu Nelson, Carolyn Saxon, Kira Trolio, Meghan Rose, Cheryl McMahon, Kathy St. George, and Beth Gotha. By Courtesy of Mark S. Howard
By Makayla I. Gathers, Crimson Staff Writer

How does a convent of nuns find itself intertwined with nightclubs and gangsters?

Directed by Leigh Barrett, the lively musical comedy “Sister Act” runs from April 7 through May 14 at The Lyric Stage Company of Boston. Although in a theater of only 244 seats, the show takes on the energy of the Broadway production with a talented cast and calculated set.

Inspired by the 1992 film of the same title, “Sister Act” follows Deloris Van Cartier (Yewande Odetoyinbo), a lounge singer who sees her partner commit a crime, takes on the guise of a nun for protection, and unexpectedly becomes the leader of an odd-sounding church choir. Odetoyinbo plays a perfect Deloris, emulating both the secular and religious versions of the character until both identities inevitably fuse into one. Her strong belt and confident air are infectious and believably portray her character’s empowering and transformative impact on the nuns.

Along with Odetoyinbo, the entire cast has impressively sharp comedic timing. Their character work is thorough, as everyone on stage is fully engaged in every part of every scene, making strong choices that result in a hilarious performance.

The quartet of the antagonist Curtis (Damon Singletary) and his goons (Jackson Jirard, Cristhian Mancinas-García, and James Turner) contribute significantly to the show’s comedic success. Their clumsy and uncoordinated behavior helps surprise the audience with unexpected, skillful moves during dance breaks. Their beautiful harmonies in songs like “Lady in the Long Black Dress,” and “When I Find My Baby” get the audience into a groove so infectious it makes one forget that their entire goal is to kill Deloris.

Deloris’s knight in shining armor, Eddie (Davron S. Monroe), is also an impressive singer, which is particularly astonishing during his solo “I Could Be That Guy,” featuring two on-stage quick changes that were done effortlessly.

The technical aspects of the show are meticulously planned for the perfect effects. The staging is done on a thrust stage, which could’ve made scene changes difficult, but instead helps make the show cohesive, as different scenes were set on different areas of the stage. The theater also made the show more intimate, as actors were able to enter and exit through aisles between the audience, fully immersing them into the show.

The production has a lot of high moments, but the biggest show stealers are the nuns. The quirky and hilarious ensemble makes the crowd holler with just a change of facial expressions and their purposefully bad singing. The production successfully makes every nun her own special treat. Their individuality is emphasized, which is hard to do considering they’re all wearing the same habit and don’t have individual spotlights. This choice adds to the excitement, as the abundance of ensuing nonsense creates a sense of hundreds of nuns on stage instead of a dozen, but it also emphasizes the themes of the show, revolving around the balance of discipline and fun.

The head nun, Mother Superior (Cheryl McMahon), has a gentle, soprano voice that strategically contrasts her greatest nuisance, Deloris’s strong, alto voice. Sister Mary Robert (Kira Troilo), another soprano powerhouse, is a nun who has to find her voice, and when she does, the ensemble numbers never sound the same again. Even Monsignor O’Hara, played by Todd Yard, has funny moments where he functions less as a priest in the church and more as a manager for his Catholic girl group.

The entire show is incredibly lively, with shimmery outfits and 1970’s sounding music, looking like a scene straight out of a disco. The finale just furthers this feeling, as it is joyous and celebratory, even bringing out the antagonists to sing and dance along with the rest of the cast. The set, music, and entire cast create an amusing and entertaining experience — the appropriate effect of a musical comedy. The Lyric Stage Company of Boston’s production of “Sister Act” has something for everyone and is a definite must-see.

—Staff writer Makayla Gathers ‘26 can be reached at makayla.gathers@thecrimson.com

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