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Sister Act Comes to the Adrienne Arsht Center

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Direct from Broadway, Sister Act, the hilarious, five-time Tony-nominated musical smash, is coming to Miami. Called “In a word, DIVINE!” by the Associated Press, Sister Act opens at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on Tuesday, April 14 for a limited engagement through Sunday, April 19th!

Sister Act closes the 2014-2015 Broadway in Miami subscription season presented by Bank of America. Produced by Whoopi Goldberg, TROIKA Entertainment and Sister Act On Tour, LLC, Sister Act received five 2011 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical, Best Original Score (Alan Menken (music)/Glenn Slater (lyrics)), and Best Book of a Musical (Cheri and Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane).

For those of you who don’t know, Sister Act tells the story of disco diva (yes, the musical is set in the ’70s, not the ’90s like the movie) Deloris Van Cartier witnessing a murder. She is then put into protective custody in the one place cops are sure she won’t be found – a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and an uptight Mother Superior. Using her fabulous disco-ness and killer voice to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church, but in doing so, blows her cover. Soon it’s nun-on-the-run time but she finds salvation in the heavenly power of her newly found sisterhood. Based on the mega-hit film, Sister Act, it features an original Alan Menken/Glenn Slater score with a vast inspiration of musical styles from Motown, soul and funk to great big disco anthems and Barry White-inspired musical comedy.

It was a pleasure to sit down with Kerissa Arrington who plays the lead role of Deloris for this Hotspots mini-interview before she takes to the stage in Miami.

What was your first professional role?

It was at Six Flags in San Antonio, Texas in 2008. That’s the first place where I got paid to do what I love…sing, dance and act. I performed there for two years and then I went to work at SeaWorld.

Other than Sister Act, what has been your favorite role?

My favorite role was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz which I played in high school in 2004. It was my first big production. It was a large high school that had a wonderful theater program and put on incredible productions.

Is there any pressure to fill Whoopi Goldberg’s shoes?

There is definitely a little bit of pressure, but the musical is very different from the movie. The movie was set in the [1990s], but the musical is set in the ’70s, so there is pressure, but it’s a good way to reinvent the show.

What’s your favorite song in Sister Act?

My favorite song is “Raise Your Voice.” It’s where Deloris has to teach the nuns how to break out of their shells. It’s a high-energy number and you get to see the nuns enjoy themselves.

What should the Miami audience expect from this production of Sister Act?

The number one thing they should expect is amazing singing. This cast is ridiculously talented and I am blessed to be on stage with them every day. They are also going to get a great show including laughter, sadness and all the emotions involved with a great show. I saw it twice before I was a part of it and I loved it both times.

“To hear people laugh and cheer the way they do at Sister Act —a show people think they know but are pleasantly surprised to discover is not what they are expecting—is a magical experience for a producer,” says producer Whoopi Goldberg. “Happily, audiences across the country are able to get in on the fun as Deloris and her fabulous sisters spread the love nationwide.”

Sister Act features an original score with music by multi-Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe Award winning composer Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Enchanted), lyrics by Tony and Academy Award-nominee Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid), and a book by multi-Emmy Award winners Cheri and Bill Steinkellner (“Cheers”) with additional book material by Tony and Olivier Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu, The Little Dog Laughed). Directed on Broadway by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks (Guys and Dolls, A Funny Thing…Forum, Smokey Joe’s Café), the production features choreography by Tony and Olivier Award nominee Anthony Van Laast (Mamma Mia, Bombay Dreams) and is based on the Touchstone Pictures motion picture Sister Act written by Joseph Howard.

Sister Act features scenic design by Klara Zieglerova (Jersey Boys), costume design by Lez Brotherson(Swan Lake), lighting design by Natasha Katz (Once), sound design by Peter McBoyle (Come Fly Away) and hair design by David Brian Brown (Death of a Salesman).

Tickets start at $26 and can be purchased now by visiting ArshtCenter.org or calling the Box Office at (305) 949-6722. Groups of 15 or more should call (786) 468-2326.

For more information, please visit SisterActOnTour.com.

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