We don't do a good job hiding the fact that "Legally Blonde" is one of our favorite Broadway shows. And "Hairspray" makes our list, as well. It's just a simple equation. Good movies make good musicals. Our fingers are still crossed that "Mean Girls" and "Jennifer's Body" will one day see the spotlight, but as years pass, our hopes become less and less.
However, we were fortunate enough to see "Sister Act" this week and there's no surprise that it was fantastic. Heavenly, even. Okay, that was lame...
Truth be told, we were hesitant at first. What works with "Legally Blonde," "Elf," "Hairspray," etc. is that new songs and choreography just added to what were already great films that had yet to incorporate music. But with "Sister Act," we are already familiar with the movie's soundtrack. We can't hear "My Guy" or "I Will Follow Him" without thinking immediately of Whoopi and her crew of offbeat nuns.
So when we heard the musical would feature all new music, we were nervous. We prayed to the Broadway gods that even though our favorite "Sister Act" tunes were not going to be heard, that we'd still be pleased.
And gurllllllllll. Were. We. Ever.
Patina Miller, who originated the role of Delores Van Cartier in London, is back in the habit, filling Whoopi's shoes. And she is great. Sure, we'll never have anyone like Whoopi... but much like Laura Bell Bundy to Reese Witherspoon, it's a new Delores. We're not going to choose with Delores or Elle we like better because they are different. And we love that.
Sarah Bolt and Marla Mindelle as Mary Patrick and Mary Robert, however, play their roles as if they were pulled directly from our worn-out "Sister Act" VHS tape and do it wonderfully.
The jokes are funny, the music is catchy, and the plot - while still following the movie, has some fresh twists. Plus, they move the action from Vegas to Philadelphia, so there's a lot of jokes that Philly natives (such as ourselves...) will get that may go over other theater-goers heads. And we enjoy being part of the in-joke. Sorry, New Yorkers - maybe next time...
A final note? We're definitely seeing it again. People that know us well know that sometimes we get a little carried away when we like something. And we may have spent all day yesterday pretending we were Delores Van Cartier... may have.