The past decade of musical theater has seen many new shows that fall under two categories: stage versions of contemporary family comedies such as The Wedding Singer and Legally Blonde, and stage versions of blockbuster Disney movie musicals such as Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. Sister Act: The Musical, penned and performed at the end of the first decade of the new millennium, is the first time these two "genres" of new musicals have come together. With writing by Glenn Slater and music by Alan Menken, it's no surprise that this musical has the precious, restrained vibe that Disney musicals manage to bring to the stage, with a charm that reminds many of classic musicals and performances. However, because Sister Act: The Musical also seems to be influenced by the likes of Legally Blonde, there are also plenty of wide-span blockbuster tracks featuring that new age big-budget musical sound. What this all means is that the musical's score, featuring the original London West End cast, brings together everything that fans love about new musicals in the new millennium. Rookie Patina Miller carries the show with her expansive voice and charisma, while supporting members do a terrific job with the show's choral parts and supporting songs. The show is full of singalong tracks including "Fabulous Baby!," "Take Me to Heaven," "Spread the Love Around," and "Sunday Morning Fever." At the same time, though, the ballads like "The Life I Never Led" and "Sister Act" hold the critical appeal required of any good Broadway showstopper. The score and lyrics might not always be revolutionary, but the music is fun from beginning to end and the voices never fail to please, and ultimately, this is the goal of any musical that falls into the category of big-budget glitzy entertainment.
AllMusic Review by Matthew Chisling
|Sister Act, musical|