REVIEW: Brother, This is Some Act (or Two)

Sisters receive some divine inspiration in the current musical offered by Dallas Summer Musicals.

Sisters receive some divine inspiration in the current musical offered by Dallas Summer Musicals.

Sometimes it just takes a while to get things rolling. Maybe with divine inspiration, something normal becomes a religious experience.

Take “Sister Act,” the touring production currently staged at the Music Hall at Fair Park. The first act is certainly pleasant enough, but like a gospel preacher who gets worked up the longer he goes, this musical has the audience shouting hallelujahs by the end of the second act.

The upbeat musical stars Ta’Rea Campbell as Deloris Van Cartier, a diva of a singer who just happens to witness a murder. Where better to put someone whose taste runs to short skirts and high boots than a convent? She is met by Mother Superior, played by Hollis Resnik, and a sad little choir comprised of screechy nuns. As their music improves, so do their outfits, making the second act worth waiting for. The black and white habits give way to dazzling costumes fit for a religious Liberace, and the songs get a dose of Motown mixed with disco.

The show truly features the music, and it’s a singer’s show. With dancing taking a back seat, the focus is on the vocals and they are heavenly. Presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, “Sister Act” features an original score by Alan Menken, even though it’s based on the Whoopi Goldberg movie by the same name. In 2011, the Broadway production received five Tony Award nominations including one for best score. The performers voices are outstanding, and their comic timing helps get the show plenty of laughs.

“Sister Act” (www.sisteractontour.com) continues through June 16 in Dallas before moving to Fort Worth’s Bass Hall. It’s a religious experience.

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