When a lively lounge singer must hide from a murderous mobster, she dons a new habit and musically moves a quiet convent in “Sister Act” at the Downriver Actors Guild.
The show runs 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, 21, 27 and 28 and 3 p.m. Oct. 22 and 29 at the Catherine A. Daly Theatre on the Avenue, 2656 Biddle, Wyandotte.
The musical, based on the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, follows Deloris Cartier into hiding after she accidentally sees mobster Curtis commit a murder. To keep Deloris alive until the trial, federal agents whisk her away to a religious order, where the only thing she can’t disguise is her love for music as she reinvigorates the church choir.
Mary Jane Town of Huron Township directs “Sister Act,” with Allen Park residents Jane Beier as choreographer and Wendy Fichter as vocal director, and David Waggoner of Wyandotte as orchestra conductor.
Town, who has a degree in theater, and has taught it and directed shows for more than 50 years, said “Sister Act” presented a challenge to her as a director.
“It’s an underestimated script, it’s a difficult script, it is more complex that it looks like on the surface and I like a challenge,” she said. “I’ve never directed for DAG before, so I thought it would be interesting.”
Town said “Sister Act” is a feel good, exuberant, fun show.
“It was definitely a vehicle as a film for Whoopi Goldberg,” she said. “The character Deloris still really carries the show.
“However, the wonderful message I think is of community and sisterhood that comes through in the script. It’s an uplifting story, and it’s a change from the news every day.”
The cast features Mishana Green of Taylor as Deloris, Kurt Bowen of Riverview as mobster Curtis, Chris Kane of Trenton as Mother Superior and Bill McCloskey of Monroe as Monsignor O’Hara.
Bowen, who likes playing villains, and recently played Bill Sykes in DAG’s production of “Oliver,” said his character, a mobster, is “smooth, simmering and cold-blooded,” but humorous as well.
“So you kind of have to balance that humor with the seriousness of being a villain,” Bowen said. “It’s quite a challenge.”
He said the script is well-written, funny and entertaining.
“I laugh during rehearsal,” he said. “This is a wonderfully talented cast and this is a very entertaining show.”
McCloskey said his character, the Monsignor, is excited by the changes Deloris brings to the community, which counters the resistance of the Mother Superior.
“This is the show you remember with Whoopi Goldberg,” he said. “It has great singing, great music and it’s funny as hell.”
Kane said the role is a promotion, since she has played lesser nuns in the past.
“I’ve done Maria, I’ve done Sister Amnesia in ‘Nunsense,’ and now I’ve gotten promoted to Mother Superior,” she said.
Others in the cast include Kayla Aue of Novi as Sister Mary Irene, and Tina; Melanie Aue of Taylor as Sister Mary Robert; Joanna Bacarella of Monroe as Sister Mary Patrick; Lea Ellwood-Filkins of Wyandotte as Sister Mary Stephen; Ashley Gatesy of Westland as Sister Mary Martin of Tours; Lara Keathley of Trenton as Sister Mary Celeste, and Michelle; Barbara Klemans of Grosse Ile Township as Sister Mary Theresa; and Annie Mann of Southgate as Sister Mary Lazarus.
Also playing nuns are Stephanie Aguila of Taylor; Cheryl Eagal of Trenton; Dee Morrison of Canton Township; and Erin Schmidt of Brownstown Township.
Steve Baggett of Taylor plays Pablo, with Chuck Bollman of Wyandotte as Ernie and a cab driver; Branden Omoregie of Detroit as Eddie; Timothy Smith of Dearborn as a featured dancer and singer; and Nathan Vasquez of Flat Rock as Joey.
Ensemble members include James Aguila of Taylor; Ashley Blevins of Allen Park; Tracey Bowen of Riverview; Ashley Lyle of Lincoln Park; Norb Nowak of Monroe; and Andrew Willingham of Wyandotte.
“We really do have a wonderful cast, a wonderful crew,” she said. “They are very hardworking and dedicated, and they do a fabulous job,” Town said.
Tickets are $16, with a $3 discount for students and seniors. For more information or to order call 734-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.
A GUILD-Y HALLOWEEN
The Players Guild of Dearborn offers an evening of sketch comedy and improv, with Guild-y by Association presenting the “Guild-y Horror Improv Show” at 8 p.m. Oct. 28 at the theater, 21730 Madison in Dearborn. Admission is $15, with an afterglow after the show. The evening features a 50/50 raffle and a Halloween costume contest.