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Sister Act: Critical Review Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Nov 28th, 2019

The Production Overview

Sister Act is the famous Broadway musical which could also be seen at the Fox Theatre during November nights. This fact is important because many people interested in musical and comedy should see Sister Act which can be discussed as the funny and impressing show.

The show is based on the music by Alan Menken, and the variety of wonderful songs the lyrics to which is written by Glenn Slater is presented in the musical. The story written by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner is based round the person of Deloris Van Cartier who became the witness of a crime and should have been hidden in a convent where this diva changed her life and the life of Mother Superior and other sisters. The character of Deloris Van Cartier was played by Raven Simone.

The Environment

The musical show could be seen at the Fox Theatre which is the effectively arranged performing arts center. While discussing the settings, it is important to note that decorative elements were chosen carefully not to draw the audience’s attention from the persons of singers.

On the contrary, the dresses of the singers were rather vivid when the elements of show were accentuated, and they were rather simple when the events in a convent were discussed. The most important and vivid factors were the observed behaviors of the singers who attracted the attention of the audience from the first second of the musical.

The Music

Sister Act is written and performed as the typical comedy musical developed according to the Broadway traditions and principles to focus on the show. The funny story presents Deloris Van Cartier, a singing diva. This woman has to hide in a convent in order to avoid the gangsters’ revenge. Mother Superior begins to supervise Deloris, and the young woman decides to help with improving the convent’s choir. Deloris succeeds in her activities, and the choir becomes really popular because of Deloris’s focus on the show.

The events of the story are reflected in the songs which can be described as belonging to funk, soul, and disco music styles. As a result, the leading singers change their singing styles according to the concrete song, contributing to the music’s variety. The use of the chorus performing soul songs is necessary to accentuate the significant and solemn events demonstrated in the musical.

The used music is different in relation to genres and their combination because it is necessary to represent the nature and mood of the discussed moment. Thus, disco emphasizes funny moments, when soul is used to depict the characters’ feelings. The songs are performed in English, and the audience has the opportunity to understand the great lyrics by Glenn Slater. This musical can exist without the music, but only in the form of a movie.

It is also necessary to describe the lighting, sets, and acting. The show is organized carefully, and the lighting is used to emphasize the leading singers whose acting is rather perfect because they reflect the characters’ emotions through music and singing styles. Thus, musical can be discussed as more interesting than the movie because the mix of dancing and singing provides the necessary focus on the characters’ emotions to produce the definite atmosphere rather than on the aspects of acting, as it is in movies.


The leading singers perform such beautiful songs as “Take Me to Heaven”, “Sunday Morning Fever”, and “Raise Your Voice” among the others. The fact that the actors represented all the emotions hidden in the songs perfectly supports the idea that the singers were prepared carefully.

The music was rather balanced in relation to loudness or softness in order to emphasize the definite moments in the songs. Furthermore, it is important to pay attention to the vocal quality of singers who demonstrated the impressing easiness while shifting from one genre to another or one singing style to another to address the character of the songs.

The audience reacted to the performers positively because this musical can be discussed as unusual in relation to all its elements. The focus on the soft narration is changed with the vivid show, and these extremes are rather pleasant for the public because they are reflected in the music’s variety.

Thus, the funky music with the elements of disco and soul based on the vivid show was the strongest feature of the musical. Moreover, the musical is effective because the audience can enjoy switching moods and tempos in the songs in order to accentuate the characters’ emotions.

General Reactions

Seeing Sister Act can add to the audience’s understanding of the genre of musical because this comedy reflects many typical features characteristic for musicals. However, this experience can be rather unique because this musical exaggerates the element of comedy in it and combines comedy with the vivid show.

Thus, it is possible to recommend attending Sister Act because the variety of songs and actions can contribute to the person’s understanding of the musical genre and to raising the moods significantly. Sister Act supports the idea that musicals are often vivid shows.

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