Compiled By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

The 67th Music Circus season continues with the feel-good musical comedy “Sister Act,” featuring an infectious score by Tony and Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken.

Based on the hit 1992 film, this musical will fill the round stage with saintly sisters for the first time in Music Circus history. Performances of “Sister Act” are Aug. 22-27 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion.

“Sister Act” follows the life of Vegas lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier, who is trying to be the next big disco diva, but experiences a setback when she witnesses a mob murder and on police orders gets hidden away at a nunnery for her safety. Cheer the singer on as she finds her path in the convent, taking over the failing choir while, at the same time, dodging a gang of hitmen chasing her.

This musical comedy is a sparkling tribute to the universal power of sisterhood written by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, coupled with the Menken score; songs include “Fabulous, Baby!,” “Raise Your Voice,” “Spread The Love Around,” and “Sister Act.”

Playing Deloris Van Cartier, the lounge singer in disguise in “Sister Act,”is Zonya Love, who appeared as Celie in the original Broadway production of “The Color Purple” and in the first national tour of “Avenue Q;” her regional credits include the role of Effie in the recent “TUTS” production of “Dreamgirls,” and the Music Circus productions of “The Wizard of Oz,” “Avenue Q” and “Show Boat.”

Playing Pablo, a role he played in the National “Tour of Sister Act,” is Chris Chatman, who also played the role of Sonny in the National “Tour of In the Heights,” and has performed with Gladys Knight, Chicago and Kristin Chenoweth, among others.

Lynne Wintersteller, in addition to appearing this summer as Meg in “Damn Yankees,” will join the cast of “Sister Act” as Mother Superior, a role she played in the show’s First National Tour; she played Dolly Levi in last summer’s Music Circus production of “Hello, Dolly!”, was an original Broadway cast member of “A Grand Night for Singing,” and has extensive regional, touring and Off Broadway credits.

Audrie Neenan will play Sister Mary Lazarus, the role she originated for the Broadway production of “Sister Act,” in addition to performing at Music Circus in “Show Boat” and on Broadway in “Oklahoma!” and “The Odd Couple,” she has numerous film and television credits including “Doubt,” “The Departed,” “Crashing” and “Friends.”

Playing Curtis Jackson will be Rufus Bonds Jr., whose Broadway credits include “Parade,” “Rent” and “Once On This Island,” and national tours include: “The Color Purple,” “The Lion King” and “Miss Saigon;” his regional theatre credits include: “Sister Act,” “Ragtime,” “Parade” and “Big River.”
Playing Sister Mary Robert is Jeanna De Waal, who has appeared on Broadway in “Kinky Boots” and “American Idiot;” on the West End in “We Will Rock You,” and in touring and regional shows including “Wicked,” “Waitress” and “Finding Neverland.”

Playing Sister Mary Patrick will be Nikki Switzer, who appeared as Rona Lisa Peretti in the National Tour of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”; her New York and regional appearances include concert versions of “Secret Garden” and “Pippin.”

Alan Wiggins, making his Music Circus debut as Eddie Souther, is currently appearing on Broadway in “Beautiful The Carole King Musical:” he also appeared in “The Lion King” on Broadway, and in regional productions of “Grease” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Todd A. Horman appeared in the national tour of “Sister Act” as Joey and will reprise the role this summer at Music Circus; his Broadway credits include: “The Last Ship,” “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and “Urinetown the Musical,” and his touring credits include: “Guys and Dolls” and “Victor/Victoria.” In addition to his role this summer as Smokey in “Damn Yankees.”

Justin Keyes will play TJ; he has performed in the National Tours of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Mary Poppins,” and appeared on Broadway in “The Apple Tree” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

Playing Monsignor O’Hara is Bill Nolte, whose Broadway credits include “The Producers.” “La Cage Aux Folles,” “Amour,” “Jane Eyre,” “Cats” and “1776,” his previous Music Circus shows were “The Producers,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

Sister Act is directed by Glenn Casale, a highly respected figure in international theatre who has directed more than 50 productions for Music Circus and Broadway Sacramento over the past 20 years; his extensive experience includes work on Broadway, off-Broadway and in some of the country’s most prestigious regional theatres.

Choreographer is Randy Slovacek, a veteran performer and choreographer, whose work has been seen in Broadway, off-Broadway, regional and concert theatres across the country.

Musical Director Dennis Castellano first arrived at Music Circus in 1981, acts as Musical Supervisor each season and heads the musical theatre program at UC Irvine; Music Circus credits, to name a few, include: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Hair,” “La Cage aux Folles,” “Mary Poppins,” “Show Boat,” “The Producers,” “Funny Girl,” “Ragtime” and “Sweeny Todd.”

Tickets for “Sister Act” start at $45. They are available by phone at (916) 557-1999, online at www.tickets.com or in person at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street in Sacramento.

Evening performances are Tuesday through Saturday, August 22–26, at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances are Thursday, August 24 and Saturday, August 26 at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday, August 27 at 3:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.SacramentoMusicCircus.com.

Music Circus is produced under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director/COO Scott Klier and Artistic Consultant Glenn Casale.

California Musical Theatre President/CEO is Richard Lewis.

Editor’s Note: Information and photo used in this report obtained from The Music Circus publicity department.