Songs a little short of praise

The Songs of Sister Act

Lichfield Garrick

**

SISTER Act has been a hugely successful film and stage musical, the former driven by the charisma and personality of Whoopi Goldberg.

The gospel soul tinged music is evergreen, and so it is not surprising that an ensemble, in this case “The Singers of Soul” choir, have chosen to take the music on tour from London’s West End. It is to the Garrick’s credit that it offers productions like this a platform to find an audience.

The show’s aficionados hung on every song, led by an MC, who rabble roused the mid- week congregation. A four piece live band provided the music, a six piece choir, two men and four women provided the vocals.

“I Will Follow” opened the show with promise, a slow ethereal opening giving way to an up-beat ending. It is always a delight to hear “What’s Going On”, even if the absence of Marvin Gaye himself becomes more keenly felt in his absence.

The likes of “Heatwave” and “Aint no Mountain High Enough” had hands clapping and feet stomping too.

The production however failed to measure up to the powerful song selection. Costume was perfunctory, choreography weak, musical arrangements somewhat haphazard, and the running order disjointed, which was a shame, bearing in mind the demonstrable singing talent contained within the choir. The Songs of Sister Act continues on a nationwide tour.

Gary Longden

18-09-14

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