Joyful, joyful! Little Red announces sparkling Sister Act homage
Oh, happy day! Hit-maker The Little Red Company (Christmas Actually, Rumour Has It, Your Song) has announced a sparkling Sister Act 30th anniversary celebration to open its 2022 season.
Premiering at Brisbane Powerhouse on 17 February 2022, Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves is the third production in the company’s soundtrack songbook trilogy that includes Christmas Actually (the music of Love Actually) and romcom mix-tape There’s Something About Music.
Inspired by the 1992 cult classic starring Whoopie Goldberg and Maggie Smith – and the 1993 smash-hit sequel Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit – the musical homage brings together a celestial cast of divine divas including Prinnie Stevens (pictured), Angela Fabian, Irena Lysiuk and Alisha Todd, backed by an electrifying live band.
Little Red Artistic Director Naomi Price (Your Song) directs the brand-new work with the film’s iconic looks receiving a 2022 makeover for the stage by Australian fashion designer Gail Sorronda.
Leading lady Prinnie Stevens said Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves was a vibrant and soulful celebration of individuality, sisterhood and the unifying power of music.
“Seeing Whoopi Goldberg as nightclub singer-turned-nun Deloris Van Cartier 30 years ago absolutely BLEW MY MIND!” Prinnie said. “It was my life on film!”
“I grew up singing gospel music in church and had an obsession with R&B and soul from a really young age.
“Deciding to do secular music over gospel was looked upon as sinful but Sister Act brought these two seemingly opposite musical worlds together and brought it to the mainstream. It gave me the confidence to move forward with my own R’n’B and hip-hop sound without abandoning my gospel roots.”
The films’ heaven-sent catalogue of hits by Diana Ross and the Supremes, Lauryn Hill and Tina Turner includes Joyful Joyful, Oh Happy Day, I Will Follow Him, My Guy (My God) and Rescue Me.
One of the most memorable musical moments had a particularly profound impact on Prinnie, leading her to record her own version of the popular song on her latest studio album, Lady Sings the Blues.
“His Eyes on the Sparrow represents the immense influence of gospel music in my world, and the many different churches and denominations I encountered,” Prinnie said.
“In the Tongan culture, there are many different branches within Christianity which sometimes create somewhat of a divide between families.
“Music is universal though, and I always loved that it united us. The line [from His Eyes on the Sparrow] ‘I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free’ always takes me back to basics and my true love of music and gospel.”
Director Naomi Price said Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves would honour the films’ ground-breaking celebration of diversity and inclusion while breathing new life into the hit soundtracks.
“The music from these iconic movies still gives me goosebumps, brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart soar,” Naomi said.
“Like Prinnie, I grew up in church and the Sister Act soundtrack was the only ‘acceptable’ music we could listen to outside of church songs.
“I wish I had seen the spirit of community, acceptance and inclusion from these films demonstrated in church as a young woman but in a way, I feel like this show is all about reclaiming what ‘church’ should be – powerful, uplifting and bringing people from all walks of life together in celebration.”
Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves premieres at Brisbane Powerhouse from 17 February 2022. Tickets are on sale now.