Beverley Knight cheers on brother in Willenhall Musical Theatre Company's Sister Act - with review
It was a brother and Sister Act for Wolverhampton's own soul star Beverley Knight.
The singer dropped into the Mill Theatre, in Sedgley, to support her brother, Adrian Smith, who is appearing in Willenhall Musical Theatre Company's production of the American comedy classic, Sister Act the Musical.
"I am so proud of my brother." said Beverley.
Adrian was making his musical theatre debut in Sister Act, playing the role of Curtis, but is certainly no stranger to singing and also writes his own songs.
It's clear Bev loves being at home, mingling happily with the audience members, as well as grabbing the chance to spend some time with family and close friends.
"When I am away, I love meeting people from home too," she said.
Show review by Alison Norton
This is the perfect vehicle for an amateur group, as it provides plenty of small roles in addition to the obvious leads and some roof-raising ensemble numbers for the company to really get their teeth into.
Alan Menken and Glen Slater’s score does differ from the movie, but the upbeat numbers Take Me to Heaven, Fabulous Baby, It’s Good to Be A Nun and the spectacular finale, Spread The Love Around, more than rival the sixties hits Whoopie and her choir offered us in the original.
Laura Wynter gave Whoopie Goldberg a run for her money, as she is superbly cast in the role of Deloris Van Cartier, the down on her luck nightclub singer, on the run after witnessing a murder committed by her gangster boyfriend Curtis and his hoods. Offering an outstanding vocal performance and great comedic timing, Laura was confident and imaginative with the role throughout the whole show.
Abbie Rai was suitably coy as Sister Mary Robert who turns out to be the mouse that roared and she delivered her solo, The Life I Never Led, perfectly, not only vocally, but also letting the audience see her confidence grow as the song progresses and she realises what she has been missing.
Adrian Smith as Curtis was in fine voice, suitably menacing and was certainly not over- shadowed by the hilarious antics of his three hoods - Will Phipps as Joey, James Totney as T. J. And Dom Napier as Pablo. Their number, Lady in the Long, Black Dress brought the house down.
Willenhall MTC stalwart, Roger Stokes never disappoints and played his role as Monsignor O'Hara with conviction and great Irish accent, while newcomer Juliet O'Brien offered a seasoned performance as Mother Superior.
Dan Haddon as Lt. Eddie Souther made the perfect love interest and hats off to male ensemble members Alex Jeffreys and Simon Williams who seamlessly raced through several minor roles between them.
All of the nuns are stars of course, dancing and singing their way throughout each of their numbers, which were effectively choreographed by Lindsey Grant, who definitely knows how to cater for the capabilities of an amateur group.
The restrictions of the venue meant that the sound was not as clear as it should be and some scene changes were laboured, with stage hands on show, but we have to remember this is not a professional theatre or crew.
All in all, this wonderfully uplifting, side-splittingly funny show was a great evening’s entertainment though, presented by a company who were clearly having the time of their lives performing it.
I asked Bev if Deloris is a role she might like to play one day. "Probably not for me," she said. "I like new and different things and this has been around for a while now, but they have done amazingly well," she complimented the group.
Leave it to the amateurs Bev because this show suits them well. In fact, “It’s Fabulous Baby.”