Volume 12 Week 5

Saturday, June 30


 

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(Posted March 15, 2018)

St. Peter production of Sister Act hits all the right notes
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

During my 30-year career as a local journalist in Orléans, I’ve had the good fortune to attend a number of high school theatre productions that I might not otherwise have attended.

In some cases I was more fortunate than others. Some of the more memorable productions include Tarzan: The Musical and Beauty and the Beast at St. Peter High School; and Alice in Wonderland at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School. You can now add the latest St. Peter Theatre production of Sister Act to that list.

Dilores Van Cartier, played by Anita Ofili. leads the nuns through one of their numbers during the St. Peter production of Sister Act. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Performed over a three-night engagement at the Shenkman Arts Centre earlier this month, Sister Act was wildly enter-taining thanks to the wonderful cast and uproariously funny thanks to the original script written by Joseph Howard.

Now, before I get into the meat of my review I must admit that I had never seen Sister Act – neither the movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, nor the play.

So I guess you could say that I went to the St. Peter production with a fresh set of eyes and ears.

The script is peppered with one liners from beginning to end and the music is catchy and infectious. But even with a great script, plenty of one-liners and catchy songs, you still need a talented cast to bring them to life, and the St. Peter players did not disappoint, starting with Anita Ofili who played the lead character made famous by Goldberg.

Ofili filled the stage with her immense talent every time she stepped into the spotlight. The Grade 12 student possesses that unique combination of a great voice and the ability to make people laugh. Other notable performances were delivered by Anna Dale who played the Mother Superior and had, what to my ears, was the strongest voice in the cast. I absolutely loved her solo performance of Haven’t Got A Prayer.

Jason Kokkovas was also very strong as Lt. “Sweaty Eddie” Souther, and Sydney Maloney almost stole the show as the incredibly perky Sister Mary Patrick. She was witty, clever and stood out among a cast of 25. That said, the entire ensemble was very strong, especially during numbers like Here Within These Walls, It’s Good to Be A Nun, and Raise Your Voice.

One of the things that make St. Peter productions so entertaining is the music provided by a live orchestra made up of current and former Ottawa Catholic School Board teachers under the direction of Lisa Concessi McLean.

This was the first year that St. Peter has staged their production in the Richcraft Theatre and the orchestra was situated in a pit between the audience and the stage, making the experience much more intimate.

Kudos to drama teacher/director Bernard Leger and the entire cast and crew for delivering such an entertaining and memorable production.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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