Ticket in hand, you’re ushered to your seat. The house lights dim and you anxiously await the moment the curtain rises.
The music begins, the dusty spotlight skates across the stage, and you’re immediately swept into the sparkle, dance, and soul-deep, disco rocking celebration of life.
Live theatre is back!
More specifically, the Savannah Theatre, one of the oldest continually operating theatre in America, is once again illuminating the marquee with a Broadway title for the first time since the pandemic.
Sister Act The Musical opened at the Savannah Theatre on Friday, August 13 and will run through August 29 with eleven performances, including 3:00 p.m. Sunday matinees.
The entire theatre touches off all five senses with the familiar aroma of freshly popped popcorn, the rumbling excitement building from the audience, and the comfort of a well-worn seat.
Principal player Cherish Love Robinson’s voice fills the air and the ride begins.
She glides into the spotlight, transforming into the flashy, disco dancing and singing diva, Deloris Van Cartier, who witnesses an unfortunate murder and is swept away into witness protective custody… hiding out as a nun in a convent.
Ms. Robinson’s effervescent talent reaches directly out into the audience to include everyone in the fast-paced musical comedy.
It was an unseen orchestration on her part, directing the audience on when to laugh, clap, gasp, or cheer.
While the theatre was filled with patrons, there was proper social distancing between grouped seats. Some patrons chose to wear masks, while others indicated they felt safe.
“I’m vaccinated, so I feel comfortable being here,” a woman from Savannah said. “This feels like a protected space. And we all need this.”
Producer and director, Michael Meece, smiled like a proud parent as the musical came to an end with a rousing curtain call.
Audience members joyously chattered, laughed, and sang out loud as they filed out.
“How do I feel?” Meece commented. “We are finally able to bring back the exact show we were doing when the world shut down in March 2020.”
Meece said the cast had bonded so much pre-COVID that “it was inevitable they would all come back for this feel-good musical.”
The audience obviously agreed. The two-hour show dares audience members not to clap along, move your feet, or shout out.
“That was so much fun,” a woman exclaimed on her way out. Her friend added, “Girl, I needed that.”
“It feels so good to celebrate,” Meece said. “We love having people in the doors and are thrilled to have this production. It’s a special group of hard-working people who really care about each other.”
Meece’s son, Matthew, and daughter-in-law, Michelle, are both in the ensemble, appearing as jubilant as the elder Meece as they stood thanking patrons.
“Please tell everyone about it,” the younger Meece said.
Savannah native, Shawn Christopher, who plays the dastardly villain, Curtis Jackson, laughed heartily as he moved through the lobby thanking folks.
“It’s so good to be up there again,” he said. “It’s amazing on the stage up there seeing all of those faces.”
Meece agreed with the actor. “We just want people to come and join in the fun. It’s a great cast, as I’ve said, and the music is amazing.”
“Sister Act—The Musical” runs through August 29. Tickets can be purchased online at savannahtheatre.com or at the theatre box office at 222 Bull Street. For more information, contact the Savannah Theatre at 912.233.7764.