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Backstage NUN-sense with the “Sister Act” cast

Come back stage and get to know some of the cast of "Sister Act" performing at the Paramount Theatre in downtown St.Cloud, September 9-25th.

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The beloved story Sister Act, starring Whoopi Goldberg, comes to the St. Cloud area in an adapted stage performance. The show includes many actors with a large range of ages and an insane amount of talent.

The process of putting together this show started with a five week-long rehearsal periods followed by a two week technical rehearsal. Sister Act has nine performances and some have even been sold out! Mackenzie Krueger, who plays Sister Mary Robert, has interviewed a few of the cast members to give a behind the scenes look on the people performing in this show.

First up are two directors from the creative team, Tamara McClintock and Kevin Steuven. Tamara has recently directed the show Frosty the Snowman and A Charlie Brown Christmas and was also in the musical 9 to 5. Kevin has been a music director for several GREAT Theatre productions and has quite often been the pit director for the orchestra as well.

Tamara McClintock: Director

Tamara McClintock

Tamara McClintock

I interviewed Tamara on some of her favorite aspects of the show. She said she picked this show to direct because she “loves the score, thinks the score is very witty, and some of the nun-sense is a bit cheesy.” Also, she says it goes more in depth than the original movie and thematically, it is such a great show.What was difficult for her about directing such a modern show like “Sister Act” was that the scenes are so short and not sustained. With shows like this, she says “there are little bits of dialogue and then goes immediately into a big dance number which makes the show very choppy.” As a director, Tamara said is it not easy to get a unified feel in a show like this. She said that her favorite character, believe it or not, is Sister Mary Robert because “she’s the character that never feels like she has experienced life, and it’s great that in the end she discovers that it’s her role to choose for herself.”

 

Kevin Stueven: Musical Director

Kevin Steuven

Kevin Steuven

Kevin decided to musically direct this show because he saw the movie several times when he was younger, and it has always been a favorite of his. Also, he’s never directed the show “Sister Act” before, and he was looking forward to a new project. He said what was difficult about this show was the “very intricate music parts that are very thickly scored for vocals.” His favorite part about being a director, specifically with music, is being the “push play button” because once the music starts, everything follows and falls into place. If he could play anyone in the show it would be Deloris because “she’s so groovy and absolutely hilarious.”

 

Next up are some members of the cast including Jade Sheriff, Mickey Morstad, Heather Mastromarco, Grace Weiner, and Laura Carlson. Jade Sheriff plays Deloris Van Cartier, or Sister Mary Clarence, a lounge singer who ends up in a dangerous situation with her boyfriend and must hide out in a convent. Mickey Morstad plays Eddie Souther, also referred to as “Sweaty Eddie,” a police officer who aids Deloris as she flees from her boyfriend and then finds the convent for her to take shelter in. Heather Mastromarco plays Mother Superior, the leader of the Catholic sanctuary, who hesitantly welcomes Deloris into her convent. Grace Weiner plays Sister Mary Patrick, the overly enthusiastic nun that is overjoyed to welcome a new member to the nun squad. Lastly we have Laura Carlson who plays Fantasy Dancer #1, Homeless Person #1, and Amazing Performer #1 which are all featured in songs such as “I Could Be That Guy“, “Sunday Morning Fever“, and “Fabulous Baby Reprise“.

Jade Sheriff: Deloris Van Cartier/ Sister Mary Clarence

Jade Sheriff

Jade Sheriff

Jade decided to audition for this show because she “had never seen the musical ‘Sister Act’ before and I knew it was different from the movie so I thought it would be a great show to be a part of.” She loves that the show is diverse and different and nothing like it has been done in the St. Cloud area before. When she found out she got the role of Deloris, she was super excited and super nervous at the same time because it had been awhile since she has performed on the Paramount stage. Her favorite song is “It’s Good to be a Nun” because “it’s so much fun and I don’t have much to remember in it.” To prepare for a performance, Jade likes to clear her mind from all that went on in her day and really focus in and be present as her character. She was most previously in RENT at the Pioneer Place back in 2013. In real life Jade is “a lot like her character which made the character development process much easier.”

 

 Mickey Morstad: Eddie (sometimes sweaty)

Mickey Morstad

Mickey Morstad

Mickey didn’t actually audition for this show, the creative team called him the day of callbacks and asked if he would come in. He did see the movie “Sister Act” before hand but he was only eight years old so he “came into the show not knowing much about the show.” He was so happy when he got the part and when he sang Eddie’s song at callbacks, it felt like a nice fit. His favorite songs include his solo song “I Could Be That Guy” and the big finale song “Spread the Love Around.” Before a performance, Mickey likes to “sit quietly and listen to music, and I like to internalize the energy and then pop it out on stage.” He was most recently in the shows Peter Pan, Tarzan, and Ragtime at GREAT Theatre.

Heather Mastromarco: Mother Superior

Heather Mastomarco

Heather Mastomarco

Heather auditioned for the show because she “wanted to be a part of a group and feel a sense of camaraderie while being a dancing and singing nun.” She was disappointed at first to find out that the stage show was different than the movie but by listening to the amazing songs, she grew to love it. When she got the part of Mother Superior, she was  very shocked, very nervous and kind of afraid because she knew she had a lot of work to do but she felt “it is good for her to take on this type of role.” One of her favorite songs is “Spread The Love Around,” specifically at the beginning where she is singing to Deloris because truly believes in the words she is singing. Before a performance, Heather likes to “stay away from heavy food, drinks a lot of tea, she warms up her voice, and tries to just be present because it is very easy to get sidetracked with her outside life.” She was most recently in the show “Boeing, Boeing” at the Pioneer Place.

Grace Weiner: Sister Mary Patrick

Grace Weiner

Grace Weiner

Grace is a teaching artist in the Twin Cities and hasn’t been on stage acting since 2014. She auditioned for this show so “she can be the best teacher in all aspects of theatre that she can.” She’s a firm believer in practicing what you preach. Grace has seen the movie before and absolutely loves Whoopi Goldberg; she actually went through a huge Whoopi phase. When she got the part of Sister Mary Patrick, she said “it was a nice pat on the back because I hadn’t been in a production in a while so it was nice to know that I still got it.” Her favorite scene to watch is”Lady In The Long Black Dress” and her favorite scenes to be in are “Take Me To Heaven Reprise” and “Sunday Morning Fever.” “Sister Act” is Grace’s first GREAT Theatre show but she has previously been in “A Streetcar named Desire”,”The Drowsy Chaperone” twice, and “The Wizard of Oz” four times.

 

Laura Carlson: Fantasy Dancer/Homeless Person/Amazing Performer

Laura Carlson

Laura Carlson

Laura auditioned for “Sister Act” because she loves the music because it’s so upbeat and lovable. What she likes most about being a part of the chorus is that “stress is taken off and there is more opportunity to play multiple characters.” Laura says she has also been able to experiment with with her many roles and really differentiate the personalities of each one. Her favorite song from the show is “I Could Be That Guy” and if she could play any role in the show if would be either Sister Mary Robert or Sister Mary Martin-of-Tours because they are such fun and lovable characters.

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