TA’ REA CAMPBELL, right, plays lead role in “Sister Act” the musical. She talks with Hollis Resnik who plays one of the sisters. (Photos by Joan Marcus)
Ta’Rea Campbell had no idea that the 1992 hit movie “Sister Act” which starred Whoopi Goldberg as zany singer-turned nun Deloris Van Cartier would make a great musical.
“I loved the movie! It is one of my favorite movies. I liked the Whoopi Goldberg character and I liked the nuns,” said Campbell, a Marymount Manhattan College theater graduate who has won the gold medal award of excellence in acting.
But it in fact has.
Since its premier at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena in October of 2006 it grossed $1,085,929 and became the highest show ever at the California-based theater. Three years later “Sister Act” opened in London’s West End at the Palladium in June. Whoopi Goldberg joined the cast as Mother Superior for several performances in August of 2010 and rejoined the cast in October 2010. The show received several Tony Award nominations in 2011 including Best Musical, Best Actress and Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
“The show teaches people to accept people for who they are and not to judge a book by its cover,” said Campbell who portrays the title character in the musical, which will run at the Benedum Center Feb. 5-10 as part of its Broadway Across America series.” This is my seventh Broadway show. It allows me to sing and dance and let my hair down. It’s my first time doing a lead role.”
Campbell continues her lead role during the musical’s year-long national tour. She played the title character on Broadway, which ended its run on the Great White Way August 26 after 561 performances.
“Sister Act” tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her out in a convent under the watchful eye of the mother superior. Deloris helps her fellow nuns find their voices while surprisingly finding her own. Written by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner with additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane. It features original music for the show, composed by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken.
“My favorite song is ‘Raise Your Voice’ which teaches the nuns how to sing. It’s a wonderful feeling when the audience is with you taking the journey with you. ‘Sister Act’ allows me to play off other actors,” Campbell said.
Prior to her starring role in “Sister Act,” she portrayed Nala in The Lion King on Broadway and was a part of the original cast in the “Book of Mormon.” She also performed in “Aida,” which was her first time in Pittsburgh.
Campbell is happy to be returning to the Golden Triangle.
“We’re excited to be coming to Pittsburgh. People will be dancing and singing in their seats. They’ll have a great time,” Campbell said.
For information on purchasing tickets to “Sister Act,” visit www.pgharts.org or call 412-456-4800.