Show lives up to billing

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Photo: The nuns on stage in Sister Act. (Photo: ashburtononline)

Variety Theatre Ashburton’s show Sister Act is a divine musical comedy that lives up to its billing and delivers on entertainment.

It’s a show not to be missed because it has a rollickingly good plot, top vocal performances and plenty of laughs.

All of the hard work off stage is obvious to see on stage, with the cast of 32 all turning in polished performances.

Sharleyne Diamond in the main character of Deloris van Cartier is a star. Her wisecrack lines and powerful voice are a stand out.

She belts out show stopping songs like Take Me To Heaven, Raise Your Voice, It’s Good To Be a Nun and Fabulous Baby.

Other stand outs for me were Emma Gilkison in the role of Mother Superior and Matt Deavoll, who plays cop Eddie Souther.

Matt Williams, who plays gangster Curtis, and is supported by fellow mobsters Joey, Pablo and TJ, played by Brent Gray, Chris Woods and Luke Glendining, also nails his bad boy role in his fourth Variety Theatre Ashburton show.

Mention also has to be made of Year 12 Geraldine High School student Brooke Dwyer in the role of Sister Mary Robert. For one so young, she impresses with her stage skills and majestic voice.

Powerful collective numbers like Spread The Love Around and Raise Your Voice had the audience rocking in their seats.

A travelator, used for the first time at the Event Centre, worked perfectly to help deliver the set and cast on to the stage.

Off stage and unseen, the orchestra of eight, led by Jo Castelow, and six backing vocalists perform with professionalism.

Moving LED screens and clever lighting take the audience to a number of locations seemlessly.

The pope even makes an appearance towards the end of the show and, like me, gives it his blessing and the big thumbs up.

There are still some tickets available to Sister Act shows tonight (Thursday), Friday and Saturday.

– Reviewed by Mick Jensen