Sister Act, the Jubilant Broadway Musical Comedy Kicks Off the Ogunquit Playhouse Season!
For Immediate Release:
May 7, 2015
Rejoice! The Ogunquit Playhouse kicks off its 83rd season with the glorious Broadway musical comedy Sister Act, on stage May 20 to June 20. This hilarious and joyful musical, based on the hit Whoopi Goldberg film with book by Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning duo Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, follows Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look - a convent! Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. This sparkling musical comedy was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and features original music by Tony Award and 8-time Oscar Award winner Alan Menken, with lyrics by Broadway’s Glen Slater. The New York Post called Sister Act “ridiculously fun,” and audiences around the world have jumped to their feet in total agreement.
The Ogunquit Playhouse is thrilled to welcome Broadway’s Rashidra Scott in the role of Deloris Van Cartier. She performed as Deloris in the original Broadway production as well as the National Tours of Sister Act. She is on leave from her current role on Broadway as Janelle in Beautiful-the Carole King Musical to star in the Ogunquit Production. Ms. Scott has also appeared on Broadway in Avenue Q, Finian’s Rainbow and Hair. She has performed in many regional theatres across the U.S. in shows including Dreamgirls, Hairspray and Little Shop of Horrors, for which she received a Kevin Kline nomination.
Reprising her Broadway role as Mother Superior is Jennifer Allen. She has appeared in many Broadway productions including Bridges of Madison County, Memphis, Cats, Guys and Dolls and City of Angels, as well as in the National Tours of Ragtime, Jerome Robbins Broadway and Cabaret as Sally Bowles. Her regional theatre credits include Williamstown Theater Festival, Goodspeed Opera House and Paper Mill Playhouse.
Blake Hammond joins the cast to reprise his role as Monsignor, which he performed as part of the original Broadway cast of Sister Act. He was last seen at the Ogunquit Playhouse as Nicely-Nicely in the critically acclaimed production of Guys and Dolls. Mr. Hammond’s many Broadway credits include Living on Love, First Date, Elf, Billy Elliot, Hairspray and On the Town. He has also performed in multiple Off-Broadway shows, most notably the Drama Desk and Obie winning When Pigs Fly, as well as many National Tours including The Addams Family as Fester and in the current tour of Cinderella as Sebastian. His film and television credits include Handsome Harry, An Englishman in New York and Mafia, as well as Frasier and Ed. Mr. Hammond has received the LA Critics, Carbonell, Chicago After Dark and the Indy Soap Award.
Helming the Ogunquit Playhouse production is Steven Beckler who has staged both US tours of Sister Act, as well as productions in the UK and Brazil. Mr. Beckler and staged the National Tours of Guys and Dolls, ’night, Mother, Laughter On The 23rd Floor, Smokey Joe’s Café, Lend Me A Tenor and Six Degrees of Separation. He was last at Ogunquit Playhouse in 2008 when he directed Guys and Dolls, starring Richard Kind, Liz Larsen, Christian Hoff and Glory Crampton. He has also directed productions in many regional theatres including the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle and at the old Desert Inn Hotel in Las Vegas. On Broadway, he has been the original production stage manager for over 35 plays and musicals including; Wicked, Hairspray, Footloose, Moon Over Buffalo, The Dresser, The House of Blue Leaves and of course, Sister Act, as well as the National Tours of On Your Toes with Leslie Caron, Hello Dolly with Pearl Bailey and Timbuktu with Eartha Kitt.
Erin Henry is the Assistant Choreographer for the current National Tour and joins the creative team as the Choreographer for the Ogunquit production of Sister Act. Her other dance credits include the National Tours of Grease and Thoroughly Modern Millie as well as at regional theatre throughout the U.S. including Paper Mill Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Westchester Broadway Theatre, Gateway Playhouse and North Carolina Theatre.
Brent-Alan Huffman joins the company as Conductor/Music Director. He is no stranger to the show, having worked as the Music Director for Sister Act on Broadway and on the First National Tour, as well as for the World Premiere in Pasadena and Atlanta, and is Associate Music Supervisor for the Brazilian production in São Paulo. His Broadway credits include conductor for Leap Of Faith, Assistant Conductor for Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, and conductor for the National Tours of Little Shop Of Horrors and Beauty and the Beast. For television he served as Production Music Coordinator on ABC’s The Music Man starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth, and as Associate Music Producer on NBC/Hallmark’s A Christmas Carol starring Kelsey Grammer. Most recently, Mr. Huffman was Music Director and Conductor for the US Premiere of Hunchback of Notre Dame, scored by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.
An all new set has been designed for the Ogunquit Playhouse production of Sister Act by Adam Koch. Mr. Koch has designed sets for over one hundred productions nationwide including Million Dollar Quartet (now in its 7th year) at the Apollo Theater in Chicago, Hello, Dolly! at Fordís Theater, Miss Saigon, Dreamgirls, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, See What I Wanna See for the Signature Theatre, and Bat Boy for 1st Stage, which he received a 2015 Helen Hayes nomination. Off-Broadway his credits include Rooms: A Rock Romance, Loaded, We the People, Pinkalicious and Freckleface Strawberry.
Dustin Cross returns to Ogunquit for his third season as Costume Designer for Sister Act. He has worked on many shows at the Ogunquit Playhouse including West Side Story (Broadway World nomination), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for which he won the Broadway World Award for Best Costume Design, Grease, Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins, and The Witches of Eastwick. Mr. Cross is a New York based designer who has been creating costumes for the last 10 years. On Broadway he created the costumes for The 24 Hour Plays and Off Broadway for The Glass Menagerie, A Midsummer Nights Dream and Forbidden Broadway.
The Ogunquit Playhouse will produce 5 more Broadway musicals in 2015. On stage from June 24 to July 18 is the 20th anniversary production of Victor/Victoria, the musical comedy based on the hit Blake Edwards film about a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman. The delightful Nice Work If You Can Get It hits the stage July 22 to August 15 with Ogunquit’s favorite comic actress Sally Struthers as the town temperance enforcer set against a gang of bootleggers. The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet is on stage August 19 to September 19.Saturday Night Fever, with a newly revised book and musical arrangements, comes to life on stage from September 23 to October 25. The Irving Berlin classic White Christmas will be presented just in time for the holidays, December 9 to 20 at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH.
Mark your calendars now and get ready to see every show this year. Tickets are on sale now. Prices start at $44 per show. To learn more about becoming a Playhouse member, or to purchase tickets and gift certificates, visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org or call the Ogunquit Playhouse Box Office at 207-646-5511.
PHOTO CAPTION: Sister Act is Broadway’s feel-amazing musical comedy smash on stage at the Ogunquit Playhouse, May 20 to June 20 and starring Broadway’s Rashidra Scott reprising her role as Deloris Van Cartier! The New York Post calls it, “ridiculously fun,” and audiences are jumping to their feet in total agreement. Featuring original music by eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors), Sister Act is a sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, Sister Act and a reason to rejoice!