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Sister Act

A scene from "Sister Act"

Darcelle Williams, who is helming Drama Group’s production of “Sister Act,” has found herself in good hands for her directorial debut for the Chicago Heights ensemble.

“The people of the Drama Group work on making quality product with the set and the costumes and lighting,” she said. “They all come with the skills, and they’re willing to share. And that’s what was surprising to me when I came with them.”

Opening Oct. 12 and running through Oct. 21 at Drama Group’s Milord Studio Theatre, “Sister” tells the tale of Deloris Van Cartier, a nightclub singer who is forced to go into protective custody at a convent after witnessing a murder. There, she breathes new life for many convent residents as well as learns a few lessons along the way.

Taking its cue from the smash 1992 comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg as Van Cartier, “Sister” was adapted for the stage in 2006. Featuring songs such as “When I Find My Baby,” “Here Within These Walls” and “Take Me to Heaven,” “Sister” ran in Atlanta and Pasadena before making it to Broadway five years after its debut.

“Sister” was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, in 2011.

“It’s a real feel-good play,” Williams said. “It’s upbeat and energetic and really emphasizes how people come together when they have differences … I hope (audiences) will leave feeling uplifted and bouncy from the music and with a smile on their face. That’s the kind of play that it is.” ”

Janiece Kristin is Van Cartier in Drama Group’s “Sister” and leads a cast of two dozen area thesps and singers. Also performing are Mary Lee Hoganson as Mother Superior, Joshua Miller as her police contact, Eddie, Paul Milord as criminal Curtis Jackson and Jeffrey Ashlock as Monsignor O’Hara.

“The cast is excellent,” Williams said. “They are very professional and work really well together. They’re working hard too. They’re very talented and a very mature cast.”

Next up for Drama Group is a production of the drama “Dancing at Lughnasa,” slated to open at Milord Studio Theatre Dec. 7.

At press time, tickets remain available for all “Sister Act” performances save for the Oct. 18 show, which has sold out.

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