The play, which is based on the 1992 feature film, originated at the Alliance Theatre in Midtown in 2006, and Melvin Abston, who is part of the show’s ensemble, has been there since day one.
“I originated the role of TJ,” the Chicago resident said. “I’m just glad to be back in Atlanta. … I absolutely adore it. … There are some things you can do or eat, and places you can go, that you can’t do anywhere else.”
Additionally, Abston performed in “Sister Act” on Broadway last year.
“I love the story. It’s got a lot of heart,” he said.
The play follows the story of disco diva Deloris Van Carier, played by Ta’rea Campbell, after she witnesses a murder and is put into a convent disguised as a nun, where no one can find her.
“It’s a real-life lesson for Mother Superior and Delores,” said Hollis Resnik, of Chicago, who plays Mother Superior.
Resnik said the show sends an important message: “That anybody can be friends.”
“If somebody gives just a little bit, there’s room for understanding,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what walk of life you come from. There’s always an opportunity to learn some from another human being.” And Abston, who also plays the understudy for three characters, said one lesson from “Sister Act” is “not being able to judge a book by its cover” and finding something bigger than yourself to believe in and count on, and knowing you can’t do it all by yourself.”
Set in 1978, the play’s orchestra produces a “very hip, very disco pop” vibe, Resnik said, that “makes you think of sparkly disco balls from ‘Saturday Night Fever.’”
Abston said the main differences from this show to the first in Atlanta are a few new songs and slight changes to characters.Bill and Cheri Steinkellner wrote the original script, with extra material by Douglas Carter Beane.
“It’s just as witty and just as fun,” Abston said. “I think people are really going to enjoy themselves.” “Sister Act” earned five 2011 Tony Award nominations, including one for best musical and best original score. The show is produced by Whoopi Goldberg, Stage Entertainment and Troika Entertainment and directed by Jerry Zaks. It features an original score with music by composer Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater.
If you go:
o What: “Sister Act”
o When: now through Sunday
o Where: The Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Midtown
o Tickets: $30 to $92
o Information: www.foxtheatre.org.