CTL starting Mainstage season with ‘Sister Act: The Musical’

Some may claim that the Community Theatre League displays a bit of religious fervor since its upcoming season includes both singing and dancing nuns (“Sister Act”) as well as the Almighty Deity (“Act of God”).

But there is no denying that CTL kicks off its 2019-20 season with “Sister Act: The Musical,” which has an extended run covering three weekends of performances.

Philip J. Vonada, CTL’s general manager, moves into the director’s chair for the 43rd season opener that has 7:30 p.m. performances on Sept. 27-28, and Oct. 3-5, 10-12, with 2 p.m. matinees on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 at the Community Theatre, 100 West Third St.

Based upon the popular 1992 movie, “Sister Act” follows disco diva Deloris, who, after witnessing her boyfriend commit a murder, is put in protective custody. She hides out where no gangster would ever find her — in a convent.

Disguised as a nun but quickly at odds with the straight-laced Mother Superior, Deloris with her disco singing and dancing talents, puts vim and vigor back into the convent’s woe-be-gone choir. The problem is that Deloris blows her cover and her cold-blooded boyfriend heads to the convent for revenge, only to be met by a sisterhood of inspired, free-wheeling nuns.

Vonada notes that there are some slight plot changes from the movie version, but with the “incredible new songs and score, and the choreography, this is a disco-fest of a musical.”

Teaming up again with Kat Shondeck as the show’s choreographer, Vonada is “so happy to welcome Michelle Hinkal as music director, and Amy Farkas as props designer to the CTL family.”

“This show is a ‘love fest’ to the late ’70s in Philadelphia, embracing all of the cheesy clothing and styles, the popular dance moves of the era, the disco fever, and the personality that only Philly can bring,” Vonada says.

Heading the energetic cast and making her CTL debut is Maya Wilborn as the disco diva Deloris, along with veteran Miki Rebeck as the Mother Superior.

The nuns who are rejuvenated by Deloris include: Megan Fisher (Sr. Mary Robert), Maria Frei (Sr. Mary Patrick), Kathryn North (Sr. Mary Lazarus), Kimberly Fulmer (Sr. Mary Theresa), and Heather Myers (Sr. Mary Martin-of-Tours). Bob Jones plays Monsignor O’ Hara.

Playing Sisters of Queen of Angels are Elaine Pfeil, along with Victoria Boyd, Wendy Durant, Ashley Jackson and Janel Stahnecker, who are making their CTL MainStage debut.

The Police Lt. who places Deloris in protective custody is played by Andrew Druckenmiller, with Steve Aguirre in a principal role as the killer boyfriend.

The cast also includes Seth Confer, Isaiah Inch, Connor Hill, Maia Cenimo, Aleah Stahlnecker, Reid Orphan and William Brown-Platt.

Vonada also enthusiastically announced that for the 43rd season, the Community Theatre League is producing its musicals for three weekends. Noting that demand in attendance for musicals has been growing, CTL is now able to offer additional performances, including an extra Sunday matinee.

For more information, call 570-327-1777 or visit ctlshows.com.


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