By Doug George, Chicago Tribune reporter
11:37 AM CST, November 15, 2012
The national touring production of the Broadway musical "Sister Act" picks up a little home field advantage when it arrives in the Loop. Mother Superior is played in the tour by Chicago actress Hollis Resnik.
The Tony-nominated "Sister Act," adapted from the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg movie of the same title, is about a Catholic convent shaken up by the arrival of disco diva Deloris (Ta'Rea Campbell), a singer disguised as a nun while in protective custody. It has a musical score by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane.
Resnik was recently in "Angels in America" at Court Theatre and was Carlotta in the transcendent production of "Follies" at Chicago Shakespeare Theater last year. She's no stranger to national tours, having been the in the cast of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "Les Miserables," among others. She spoke with the Tribune from the road; this is an edited transcript of the conversation.
How's touring life as Mother Superior?
Well it's a tour, it's been great, but you put all your belongings in a trunk, you stay in a big, old hotel, and then you pack up again and it's on to the next city. This is a great cast to travel with; they're all a lot younger than me, of course.
What advice are you giving them about Chicago when the show gets here?
Oh, I told them, get the deep dish pizza, stroll through Millennium Park if it's not too cold. I'll be home, myself, when the tour is here. So I'll be home, at the gym, taking my Argentine tango lessons. ... I always like new projects, I'm gifted physically and a few years ago it was tennis, Argentine tango is something I got hooked on.
How did you land the Mother Superior role from Chicago?
Not the usual way, that's for sure. I was doing "Angels in America" at Court Theatre and they wanted me to come out to New York. I said no, I couldn't leave the show, but I put myself on tape. My friend held one of those little Flip cameras and I did my two songs and did a scene. ... It was maybe five minutes in total.
What do people who only know 'Sister Act' from the movie need to know about the show?
The score is so good, it really take you back to 1978. Lots of glitter and disco balls. And all the comedy is still there. I get to bump heads with Deloris.
Why has it become a truism that Broadway loves nuns?
They play so well on stage. They do! I think it's because people like to see this story arc — of nuns breaking out of their roles and having a good time. This is such a joyful show, I can't fully explain it.
When: Through Dec. 2
Where: Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.
Tickets: $28-$103; 800-775¿2000 at broadwayinchicago.com
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