Rejoice! ‘Sister Act’ the musical on Murray stageJul 01, 2022 09:27AM ● By Shaun Delliskave
Kortney King-Lives with her “Sister Act” backup singers Jocelyn Robinson, Emily Voorhees and Ariel Tegan. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Craven)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
Ever heard the phrase turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse? Reluctantly, Sister Mary Clarence received the same counsel from her Mother Superior in the musical “Sister Act,” which plays on Murray Amphitheater’s stage (495 E. 5300 South) from July 15 through 23.
Based on the 1992 hit film “Sister Act” the musical premiered in 2006. The play features music by Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas,” and “Little Mermaid”) and lyrics by Glenn Slater (“Little Mermaid,” “School of Rock”).
Diva-in-waiting Deloris Van Cartier witnessed a mob crime and was placed in protective custody. But where to put a flashy loudmouth where she can’t be found? The answer: a convent. Deloris is disguised as a nun and finds herself at odds with her strict new lifestyle. With a mission to inject new life into the church choir, Deloris introduces funky grooves and diva-esque singing. Unfortunately, the choir’s newfound fame attracts attention, including familiar gangsters.
“Sister Act” brings a blend of Motown and hymns unique as its characters.
“The show is full of zany, loveable nuns that we hope you will adore,” director Bruce Craven said. “Those who are familiar with the Whoopie Goldberg movie will find the same heart, similar music, and great story in this delightful musical.”
Goldberg, along with Dame Maggie Smith, Harvey Keitel, Kathy Najimy, and Wendy Makkena, made “Sister Act” a box office success earning over $231 million worldwide. In addition, the musical adaption earned five Tony nods, including Best Musical, Score, and leading actress.
Kortney King-Lives plays Delores Van Cartier—the nightclub dancer/Sister Mary Clarence. No stranger to the part, she starred as Deloris in the Draper Arts Council production of “Sister Act” at Draper Amphitheater in 2019.
“She is a great talent who carries this show with charm, beauty, and a great voice. She is backed up by 17 amazing ‘nuns’ who sing like an angelic choir, most of the time,” Craven said.
Tyson Jensen is the leader of the mob-Curtis Jackson. He appeared at the Murray Amphitheater in 2019’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” production. Jensen earlier this year played Claude Frollo in Draper Historic Theatre’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
“His merry men: Eric Lash, Chloe Cox, Jacob Crosby, and Colby Humphreys, are not so scary and bring great vocals to their songs and a bit of humor to their antics,” Craven said.
Thomas Kulkus plays the loveable cop and former high school crush of Delores. Kulkus has been seen on Utah stages such as Utah Repertory Theater’s productions of “Bare” and “Ordinary Days.”
“Many of our cast are from Murray and are grateful to be playing in their ‘backyard,’” Craven said.
With over 40 years’ experience directing and acting on stage, Murray Cultural tapped Craven to helm this musical. This is his second time directing “Sister Act” with Kortney King-Lives. He recently finished directing “The Foreigner” for West Valley Arts. He also directed Empress Theatre’s productions of “The Little Mermaid” and “Noises Off.”
Musical Director Cindy Swan will also be onstage playing Mother Superior. Joining her in the performance, choreographer Chloe Cox will manage the dancing. Also, onstage production assistant Shan Lloyd plays the Monsignor. Tina Allen Barnes will handle costume design.
“This show has fun music, comedy, tenderness, and a story of sticking together. It will leave you feeling joyful and wanting to get up and dance. So please do,” Craven said.
Murray City Cultural Arts will present “Sister Act” at the Murray Amphitheater on July 15-16, 18, 21-23 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.murraycity.smashpass.com and the Murray Parks and Recreation office.