This nun is fun: Sister Act premiers at the Civic Theater

susanne_albaitisCivic Theater has done it again. They have assembled amazing Grand Rapid’s talent, chosen the perfect actors, created a fabulous set, and put it all together with incredible music for Sister Act.


Julianne Howe-Bouwens has established herself as a powerhouse of talent and continues to amaze, this time in the lead role as Deloris Van Cartier. With comedic timing and that voice (that voice!) she leads the cast through this very entertaining rendition.


Deloris Van Cartier witnesses murder and is sent into hiding in a convent. No one would think to look for this outgoing, sequin-wearing showgirl under the same roof as nuns. Deloris’s zest for performing soon takes hold of the nuns, and before they know it, they are packing the pews of the nearly closed church. It seems that the church has caught “Sunday Morning Fever”.


Deloris stays with the sisters until it is safe for her to leave. Once free, she returns to the convent for one last performance, realizing that she needs the nuns’ friendship as much as they need her voice. They are sisters.

Julianne Howe-Bouwens shines in Sister Act
Julianne Howe-Bouwens shines in Sister Act (Courtesy of


Civic Theater was awarded the right to perform Sister Act along with playing Alan Menken’s original music from the Broadway show. The singing and choreography are perfectly matched with the music’s disco beat. Deloris and her back-up singers perform “Fabulous, Baby” in the beginning of the play. The song is then reprised later in the show with Deloris and the nuns.  The music, directed by Wright McCarger, weaves in and out of the story line seamlessly.


Sister Act is directed by Allyson Paris who is the Associate Director of Grand Rapids Civic Theater. She also recently directed the travelling troupe production of The Hundred Dresses. You may remember her as the mean nanny from Mary Poppins.


Much of the glitz and glamour of the show is emphasized by the ensemble dance numbers. Choreographer, Torrey Thomas worked with the groups nightly to perfect the routines. Whether in sequins or pajamas, the nuns put on quite a show.


If you like to laugh, enjoy great music, and are amazed by talented singers, then make sure to catch Sister Act at the Civic. The show runs through March 20 with ticket available online at