America's Oldest · Founded 1808

Get in on the Act in Philadelphia With SISTER ACT at Walnut Street Theatre! Now - July 17

April 25, 2016

Philadelphia, PA: Walnut Street Theatre concludes its landmark 207th season with habit-forming musical comedy set in Philadelphia, SISTER ACT. Directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford, this uplifting musical begins previews on May 17th, opens on May 25th and runs through July 17th on the WST Mainstage.

When wannabe disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a crime, the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look—a convent! Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. Featuring original music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken, this musical is filled with toe-tapping songs, outrageous show-stopping dancing and a truly moving story. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, SISTER ACT is reason to rejoice!

SISTER ACT the musical is based on the 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg. The comedy was the eighth highest-grossing film worldwide that year and won multiple awards, including a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture. The musical premiered at the Pasedena Playhouse in California in 2006. A huge success, the production became its highest grossing show of all time. SISTER ACT had its West End premiere in 2009, with Whoopi Goldberg as a producer. Following it’s Broadway debut in 2011, the show received multiple Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Score. SISTER ACT has toured internationally, nationally twice has been translated into seven languages. The Walnut’s production of SISTER ACT is produced in association with Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida.

SISTER ACT features original music by award-winning composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors), lyrics by Grammy winner Glenn Slater (Disney’s Tangled, The Little Mermaid, School of Rock), book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, who, between the two, have won awards including Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, Writers Guild Awards and TV-Land Legend Awards, and additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane (As Bees In Honey Drown, The Little Dog Laughed).

Different from the film, the musical is set in Philadelphia. The Walnut is thrilled to produce a show set in its hometown, featuring many local actors. “To hear people laugh and cheer the way they do at SISTER ACT - a show people think they know but are pleasantly surprised to discover is not what they were expecting -- is a magical experience,” says Producer Whoopi Goldberg.

Richard Stafford returns to the Walnut as director and choreographer. His previous Walnut credits include direction and choreography for Memphis, Curtains, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Beauty and the Beast and Cats, as well as choreography for The Goodbye Girl, La Vie En Bleu and Evita. On Broadway, Stafford was choreographer for In My Life, associate choreographer for Aspects of Love and dance supervisor for Cats. His work has been seen on the National Tours of Cats (director/choreographer), My Fair Lady (choreographer) and Joseph…Dreamcoat (choreographer), as well as numerous regional and international stages. Joining Stafford is Music and Vocal Director Douglass G. Lutz, whose many Walnut credits include High Society, A Christmas Story, Mary Poppins and 9 to 5: The Musical.

The Walnut welcomes back the design team that created the 2015 production of Memphis. This year, Scenic Designer Peter Barbieri will lead the design team in transporting the audience to the 1970s in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, Philadelphia. Joining Barbieri are Lighting Designer Jack Mehler, Costume Designer Gail Baldoni and Sound Designer David Temby.

Dan’yelle Williamson makes her Walnut debut as Deloris Van Cartier. On Broadway, Williamson has been seen in Memphis, Scandalous and Rocky. Mary Martello (Memphis, 9 To 5: The Musical) returns to the Walnut as Mother Superior and Philip Michael Baskerville returns as Curtis Jackson, after playing Delray Farrell in Memphis at the Walnut. The Sisters helping to protect Deloris are Laura Giknis (Grease) as Sister Mary Robert, Melissa Joy Hart (A Christmas Story) as Sister Mary Patrick, Diane J. Findlay (42nd Street) as Sister Mary Lazarus and Ellie Mooney (Mary Poppins) as Sister Mary Martin-of-Tours.

Ron Wisniski (Memphis) returns to the Walnut as Monsignor O’Hara. Fran Prisco, who audiences will remember from A Christmas Story and Harvey, will play Joey, and Billy D. Hart (High Society) will play Ernie. Kent Overshown (Eddie Souther) makes his Walnut debut, as well as NaTonia Monét (Michelle), Alicia Charles (Tina), Tony Castellanos (Pablo), Justin Keyes (TJ) and Madeleine Doherty (Sister Mary Theresa).

The ensemble includes Sara Brophy (Elf), Heidi Hayes (Side By Side By Sondheim), Jesse Jones (A Christmas Story), Gregory Omar Osborne (Memphis), Owen Pelesh (Mary Poppins), Kristyn Pope (Memphis) and Tara Tagliaferro (How to Succeed…).

SISTER ACT runs at the Walnut May 17 through July 17. Open captioning will be available for the 7pm performance on Sunday, June 12. The Tuesday, July 5 performance will be ASL interpreted and Audio Described. This production is sponsored by M&T Bank/Wilmington Trust. Media Partners are NBC 10 and Metro. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting or Ticketmaster.