Whoopi Goldberg will rejoin the cast of the hit musical comedy SISTER ACT in October to complete her run as Mother Superior. She will perform the role on the evening of Friday 22 October, at two shows on Saturday 23 October and at two shows on Monday 25 October. Whoopi’s previous run, her West End debut, was a huge critical success and saw fans camping overnight at the box office and daily queues around the block at the London Palladium for tickets. During Whoopi’s run Sister Act also broke the record for the highest weekly gross of any musical ever at the Palladium. She was unable to complete that run, which was to end on August 31, when she had to return to the USA due to a family emergency.
People who booked for the five performances that Whoopi did not perform at in August will be given a priority booking period to rebook for her new run in October. Those bookers have until 9am on Friday 9 September and should call SEE Tickets on 0844 579 0094, where they will be asked to confirm their original point of sale and booking reference.
Whoopi’s new five show run in the role alternates with that of Sally Dexter who currently plays Mother Superior, and will do so until the production closes at the Palladium on Saturday 30 October. Mother Superior was previously played by Sheila Hancock, who created the role and played the part from the show’s opening in May 2009 until July this year. The principal cast also includes the award winning, critically acclaimed Patina Miller as Deloris Van Cartier (Whoopi’s role in the original movie) and Dads Army and EastEnders star Ian Lavender as Monsignor.
Whoopi Goldberg is among the most well-known performers around the world. She shot to international fame with her Oscar-nominated performance in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple, before embarking on a prolific Hollywood career with films such as Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Soapdish, The Lion King, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and, of course, Sister Act and its sequel. She has had success in virtually every area of entertainment, from film and television, to stage and recording, to radio host and best-selling author. In addition to the critically-acclaimed one-woman show that launched her career and the 20th anniversary production of that show in 2005, Whoopi starred on Broadway in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and, most recently, Xanadu. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Ghost in 1991 and is one of a very elite group of artists who has also won the Grammy, the Golden Globe, the Emmy and, as producer of the original Broadway production of Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002, a Tony Award. She is currently moderator of the award-winning, top rating daytime talk show The View in the United States.
Bill Taylor, Stage Entertainment UK CEO, said:
Everyone at Sister Act was devastated for Whoopi when she needed to leave us to return home to be with her family, and our thoughts are continually with them over this difficult period. I think everyone knows what a special person she is, but that she is committed to returning and completing her run at the Palladium leaves me speechless in admiration. I’d also like to thank the wonderful and gracious Sally Dexter for her understanding and utter professionalism. It’s an honour to have both of these women as part of our company.
The principal cast also includes Chris Jarman as Curtis Shank, Ako Mitchell as Eddie, Katie Rowley Jones as Sister Mary Robert, Claire Greenway as Sister Mary Patrick, Jacqueline Clarke as Sister Mary Lazarus, Nicholas Colicos as Bones, Thomas Goodridge as TJ and Ivan De Freitas as Dinero.
The record breaking production was recently nominated in seven categories at this year’s Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers Choice Awards and in four categories at the prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards.
A German production of Sister Act will open in Hamburg in December 2010, followed by Broadway in Spring 2011, and international productions in Australia, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Italy, France and Spain soon after.
SISTER ACT features a score by Alan Menken, eight-time Oscar winner and the genius behind many of the world famous songs from Disney’s movies, including The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin and Enchanted, with lyrics from his long time collaborator, Glenn Slater. The book is by the award-winning team, Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, whose writing credits include the classic television comedy Cheers.
The SISTER ACT creative team is completed by Musical Supervisor Michael Kosarin, Choreographer Anthony Van Laast, Set Designer Klara Zieglerova, Costume Designer Lez Brotherston, Sound Designer Mick Potter, Lighting Designer Natasha Katz and Musical Director Nick Skilbeck.
SISTER ACT is produced by Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment. Founded by Joop Van Den Ende, Stage Entertainment is one of the world’s largest theatrical producers and venue operators. It also co-owns SEE Tickets, a multinational ticketing company with bases across Europe. UK credits include Hairspray, Disney’s High School Musical 1 & 2, Strictly Come Dancing Live!, Strictly Come Dancing The Professionals, Saturday Night Fever and Fame.