Mercury Theater Chicago Comes Back with Sister Act and it’s A Must See!
today at 8:29 pm
Coming back from closing its doors due to financial losses from the coronavirus that affected many companies, Mercury Theater Chicago went from a dark stage for over a year to a packed house. Executive Director L. Walter Stearns reopened the theater in April 2021 and brought the talented performer, director, and choreographer, Christopher Chase Carter as their Artistic Director.
As the lights dimmed and Carter came on the stage, you could feel the admiration from the audience, excited that Mercury Theater Chicago was back. Carter brings his exuberance and humbly thanks everyone who helped orchestrate their return. And as the crowd anxiously awaits the start of the performance, you can feel it’s going to be a spectacular night.
Mercury Theater Chicago proudly reopens its door with Sister Act. With music from Alan Menken, best known for his scores and songs for films produced by Walt Disney, and lyrics from three-time Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater (Sister Act at the 65th Tony Awards in 2011) from the book co-written by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane. If you have never seen the 1992 hit film masterfully performed by Whoopi Goldberg as Deloris Van Cartier, we suggest renting it on Netflix.
Deloris, a struggling singer, is disappointed that her boyfriend, Curtis Jackson, who runs a nightclub, doesn’t feel Deloris is ready to meet with a record producer. So, deciding to make it on her own, she goes to the club to tell Curtis, but unfortunately, she witnesses him shooting one of his goons. Curtis is a gangster who believes someone has squealed to the police about his operation and makes the decision to send a message to anyone thinking about going against them.
Assuring Curtis she has seen nothing, Deloris runs to the police for help, where she meets desk chief Eddie Souther, better known as “Sweaty Eddie.” Eddie, who had a teenage crush on Deloris, has been trying to find someone to testify against Curtis. To help save her life, he set Deloris up in witness protection at a convent called The Holy Order of the Little Sisters of Our Mother Perpetual Faith.
Deloris meets with the Mother Superior, the nun’s overseer, and is shocked to learn that living at the convent means no outside influences are allowed. She can’t smoke, drink or wear anything provocative; only a habit and no sex. Mother Superior doesn’t want her there, feeling she may corrupt them; however, to help Deloris repent for her worldly ways, she remembers that she is a singer and assigns her to help with the choir.
In Mercury Theater’s Sister Act, Alexis J Roston is outstanding as Deloris Van Cartier. Roston lights up the stage with her voice and acting talents, and when on stage performing, her energy electrifies the audience. All of the actors in this play were amazing, and audiences will enjoy this high-energy production from beginning to end.
We enjoyed the witty comedic nuns who shared with Deloris about receiving their calling with a delightful song (“How I Got the Calling”) and their hilarious singing performances of Take Me To Heaven, Sunday Morning Fever, and Bless The Show.
Then there’s the goons and Curtis singing (When I Find My Baby), which will surely get the audience laughing as they sing and dance this number to perfection. There are so many great performers from this cast; it’s hard to single out any one scene.
Jane Grebeck-Brewer was simply a hoot! A native from Belleville, IL, Brewer brings witticism, with a stern fist requiring the nuns to honor their call and a lovely voice to match. She was terrific as Mother Superior. And dare we say that Jenny Rudnick as Mary Lazarus rap scene is a must-see.
Isabella Andrews as Mary Robert, the young novice nun, will steal your heart with her youthful and naive soul who finds herself with the help of her new friend Sister Mary Clarence aka Deloris. Gilbert Domally, as Sweaty Eddie, humorous costume changes while singing about his feeling of being the man women desire in “I Could Be That Guy.”
Then there is the trio of Ruben Castro, Marcus Jackson, Austin Nelson, who were magnificent. Their chemistry on stage was great, and they will have you laughing and smiling all the way home, singing Lady In The Long Black Dress.
This production of Sister Act has that phenomenal magic that will draw audiences back to Mercury Theater Chicago. It’s a masterpiece of fun!
When Deloris leaves the convent and explains her story to the nuns about why she lies to them, you genuinely feel the sadness on stage. Then, the story ends with Curtis’s arrest, Deloris coming back to sing with the nuns, Eddie gets his dream girl, and the audience goes home feeling happy that Mercury Theater Chicago once again has its doors opened.
Let’s Play Highly Recommends Sister Act at The Mercury Theater Chicago.
Mercury Theater Chicago
Book by Bill and Cheri Steinkeline, and Douglas Carter Beane
Based on the 1992 film “Sister Act”
Directed by Reneisha Jenkins
November 5, 2021 – January 2, 2022