By Corey Robinson
Deloris Van Carter has always wanted to be the star of her own show but thanks to her ex-lover, it looks as if she will have to make room for the Lord.
Riverside City College’s Fine and Performing Arts Department presented an upbeat, lively performance of “Sister Act,” directed and choreographed by Roger Castellano, which was shown on March 29, 30 and 31, as well as April 5, 6 and 7.
The play began with Van Carter (Elizabeth Adabale) demanding the attention of the audience in her sparkling disco costume with a solo performance of the song titled “Sister Act.” Adabale showed her star quality in her stage presence and singing voice.
We are then introduced to Curtis (Kenny Ugwa) a gang leader and Van Carter’s ex-lover and his group of gangsters who are all about guns, bars and money.
When Van Carter witnesses a murder by Curtis, she runs away to the police and winds up in witness protection as Sister Mary Clarence, forcing her to adapt to the ways of a nun and the temptations that come with living a pure life.
The storyline of “Sister Act” went well with the musical tunes for the entirety of the play conducted by Allen Everman. The hunt for Sister Mary Clarence is intensified because of the song “When I Find My Baby,” which shows Curtis’s viciousness.
The backdrops place us in the setting of a Catholic Church and amongst the sister’s chambers. The setting didn’t “wow” the audience as much as the variety of costume choices did.
Throughout the different choir performances, we see how the day to day habits of the nuns become even more flashy thanks to Van Carter and their music becomes more rhythmic and gospel-like. This was an excellent attention to detail by the director and costume designers.
With the answers of Mother Superiors nearly comical, anguished prayers to God comes the end of the heavenly bond the nuns formed with Sister Mary Clarence. As she throws away her religious clothing and brings back her sparkling night clothes, we realize although she isn’t part of the convent anymore, her heart will forever be connected with the church. The end performance shows how Van Carter finds joy in a show that’s not all about her.
RCC has made an incredible effort to exhibit the talent of performers that live in the community at the Landis Performing Arts Center. The next show involves a collaboration between theatre and dance to create an original performance called The Vivian Maier Project.
For more information on future performances, such as The Vivian Maier Project, visit the RCC website.