Kean Theatre Conservatory, under the direction of Professor Holly Logue, presented the divine musical comedy, Sister Act to a virtual audience with performances held April 16-18. Tickets for this fun-filled event were done via ShowTix4U – Free Online Ticketing with links emailed to guests followed by a Q&A utilizing a zoom link to chat with the cast up close and personal after all performances.
Sister Act stars sassy lounge singer, Deloris Van Cartier played by sophomore Taylor Stokes, who witnesses a murder and is forced to hide from the mob in the last place anyone would look for her, a convent of nuns. While she is there, Stokes transforms into her incognito role of Sister Mary Clarence. As a nun, she turns a tone-deaf choir into soulful, swinging sisters attracting a congregation of faithful followers. Sister Mary Clarence's antics are under the watchful eye of Mother Superior played by senior, Melissa Calicchio whose reverence is portrayed perfectly.
The undercover act is blown when the sisters' celebrity status jeopardizes the hidden identity of Deloris. Mobsters Eitan Hiller and Brandon Luckenbaugh along with José Fernando Gonzalez-Vidal and led by senior Lucien Edme attempt to foil the shenanigans only to be outwitted by a police officer named, “Sweaty Eddie,” played by David Rivera Jr. Stokes a.k.a. Deloris along with her swinging sisters continue their joyful jubilation of sweet serenity to none other than the Pope with some show-stopping, shaking sinfulness.
Kean Theatre Conservatory’s exemplary ensemble has proven that not even a pandemic was going to stop this enchanting escapade from entertaining with exhilarating excellence. During the Q&A, Professor Logue and cast members shared their thoughts on the experience of being able to present the musical virtually, the long hours of rehearsals and the challenges of performing all while wearing clear face masks with microphones beneath them.
Social distancing while adhering to the restrictions of the pandemic protocol required all members of the cast and crew to revamp the production yet still try to maintain the aesthetic of an appealing musical. Rehearsals came to a screeching halt for about a week because of safety protocol issues. Unlike previous performances in the past which showcased multiple viewings of each show, the cast had a limited amount of time to complete the production process. Thanks to additional supporting cast members who worked feverishly to present the final edited production within a matter of days, this would become a show like no other.
Complete cast members include Taylor Stokes, Melissa Calicchio, Lucien Edme, Kennedy Kelley, David Rivera Jr., Melody Stubbs, José Fernando Gonzalez-Vidal, Eitan Hiller, Brandon Luckenbaugh, Joseph Gottfried, Rosa Spalliero, Tori Hiotakis, Latisa Harriott, Morgan Hope, Tiajah Elliot, Lorelle Lane, Sofia Feggulis, Sara Dabul, Ashley Henson, Christian Chirino, Katie Davis, Destiny Davis, and Jeremiah Rosado. A round of applause to the crews in music direction, choreography, scenic and production design, costume design, lighting design, sound design, video coordination, stage management, any and all sponsors of the Sister Act production.