Sister Act review: Santa Fe edition

Kaitlyn Marshall, Howler Staff Writer

Fabulous is what Deloris is and she knows it.

When I stepped into the auditorium people were milling around, voices seeping with excitement for the musical to start. When the curtains finally opened, Deloris: the main character, struts out in her gold and purple outfit that shines to the heavens. When I saw her I was stunned, Talyn Nolan was born for this role, and, let me tell you, she rocked it. 

The first song “ Take Me to Heaven” set the tone for the night. This performance was going to be one to remember. The next song performed by Deloris was“Fabulous, Baby!”, and I will say she was absolutely fabulous

Left to right. Michelle, Deloris, and Tina. (Joy Neel of Oh Joy Photography)

The plot follows a lounge singer who witnesses her boyfriend, Curtis, kill someone and now he wants her dead for witnessing the murder. Curtis makes his entrance with the perfect song for a villain “ When I find my baby:” A love song with a sinister twist. The love-hate relationship between Mother Superior, played by Grace Pierce, and Deloris was definitely a crowd favorite. The crowd ate up every joke and the cast thrived off it. Mother Superiors’ line “ God she’s everywhere” had the crowd laughing and ready for more Deloris-Mother Superior interactions.

The initial meeting of the nuns was reminiscent of the famous painting “ The Last Supper” and garnered a huge laugh from the audience who recognized its significance. Mary Patrick, a nun played by Michaela Mcgrew encapsulated the bubbly personality of the character. Her one-liners “ I feel like I’m in the Book of Revelation” from when she snuck out to the club with Deloris. And “ The joy of waking up at 4 am right on the dot, the thrill of meditating all day long in just one spot.” kept the crowd in stitches.

Mass dinner (Joy Neel of Oh Joy Photography)

Sweaty Eddie played by John Dixon helped Deloris escape from Curtis’s vengeance but also professed his love for her in the  song “ I Could Be That Guy.”This was a new twist that left the audience wondering if he would in fact win the girl in the end. The costume change from his drab police uniform to his shiny pantsuit was also a crowd-pleaser. 

In Act II, We find Deloris settling into life in a convent and she begins to learn that her situation is not as bad as it seemed. Mary Roberts played by Ella Misialek was like a ray of sunshine throughout the various conflicts in the play. She reminded me of a sweet little sister that you just want to protect and squeeze to death with love. As the play continues, we see a softening of Mother Superior and more support for Deloris and her good deeds performed to make the choir everything they can be.  The opening song of the second act “Sunday Morning Fever” was a nod to the 70s nostalgia of the play and great production from the majority of the cast. The audience, myself included, were engaged and dancing right along. 

Another notable performances were the nun Mary Lazarus, played by Pidge Davis, who showed off her uncanny ability to rap and brought a modern and entertaining feel to the play. I loved her and her rapping, the rhymes were sent from heaven itself and wowed Jesus, himself. I just know it. 

The props, which were all handmade, were amazing. They started this process in early January, the cast was split up into groups for making the props. The costumes were all collectively chosen by the groups and the costume director. When asked if this prop making and setting up was hard the cast and director said it was nothing compared to some of Santa Fe’s bigger plays.

Left to right. Seth McIntyre, Daylon Mcilwain, and Jasaya Coasten. (Joy Neel of Oh Joy Photography)Towards the end when Deloris is found out and must leave the convent. It is at that moment that Deloris has a realization that there are more things to life than fame and stardom. This is a great thematic message for those seeking stardom. Of course, no play would be complete without a fight scene. However, no one would expect it to be between Curtis the crazy ex-boyfriend,  his lackeys and Mother Superior with the nuns. In the scene of the nuns and Mother Superior getting ready to fight Curtis, they say “123 Jesus” throw their hands up and fight with the strength of God on their side.

Curtis was defeated, and towards the end, we got a sweet kiss from Deloris and Eddie. Everyone in the crowd was surprised but I found it sweet and funny and was the perfect ending to the play. The nice guy won!

The last song of this wonderful musical was “spread the love”, which was performed by the whole cast. A quick costume change celebrated the transformation of not only Deloris but the convent itself. The nuns’ outfits went from drab black and white habits to blinding white, glittering ones which were shining to the gods and had the crowd wowed. Everyone came together to pull this song off and it was amazing. A true testament to the leadership of the directors and the overall success of the drama program. 

“We wanted every kid to feel represented and seen,” said Robin Robinson, director of Santa Fe drama. “We wanted to bring in kids that wouldn’t normally audition and tell a story about family and show the diversity at Santa Fe.” 

The director and co-director were very proud of the students and thought opening night went very well. I, as a friend to some of the cast and part of the audience, was so unbelievably proud and amazed. Sister Act: Santa Fe edition was a hit and if you didn’t see it, there will be more amazing shows in the future.