Raven-Symone In ‘Sister Act’: Actress slips into Broadway role
ABOVE PHOTO: Raven Symone, appears at the curtain call after her first performance in Broadway's "Sister Act" in New York, Tuesday, March 27, 2012.
(AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
By Mark Kennedy
NEW YORK -- Raven-Symone is all grown up – and going to a convent.
The former cutie from "The Cosby Show" has been performing in the lead part in Broadway's hit musical "Sister Act" since March 27, playing a nightclub-singer-turned-nun. And according to perezhilton.com, is currently getting rave reviews.
The 26-year-old actress and singer says she's in rehearsal almost every day of the week from "sun-up to sun-down" to "make sure I have everything down." at the Broadway Theatre.
Raven-Symone says she fell in love with the musical the moment she saw it. "I was definitely one of the audience members dancing in the aisles," she says. "I think it's a wonderfully scored and directed and written musical. I'm very excited to be part of this."
She takes over the role from Patina Miller, who earned a Tony Award nomination in the part and whose final performance is March 18. Whoopi Goldberg, who was the original Deloris Van Cartier in the hit 1992 film, is producing the musical.
While Raven-Symone did a guest spot with "The Boys Choir of Harlem" on Broadway when she was 5, she prefers to think of this as her Broadway debut.
"I want to do stuff I haven't done before. I did it at 5 but I don't remember that, obviously. So I want to do it for real – a big, crowd-pleasing show as well as working with these great people."
"Sister Act" opened on Broadway in April 2011 after a stint in London and was nominated for a best musical Tony last year. It has original tunes by songwriter Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater.
The musical's plot is faithful to the movie: A nightclub singer accidentally witnesses a murder by her crime boss lover and flees to a convent to hide. The stuffy nuns come alive as she teaches them razzle-dazzle and rhythm while she, in turn, learns the value of sisterhood and self-sacrifice.
Raven-Symone will try to stay faithful to the part. "I can only do what I can do," she says. "The role is written so well that I don't want to deviate too far from the character that she already is."
Raven-Symone became famous playing the apple-cheeked Olivia for the last few seasons of "The Cosby Show," was in "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper" for several seasons, and played Charisse in the two "Doctor Dolittle" movies opposite Eddie Murphy.
Her other credits include providing the voice of the teenage crime fighter Monique in the animated "Kim Possible" and her own show "That's So Raven," which ran on the Disney Channel from 2003-2007.
More recently, she's played the voice of Iridessa in the animated "Tinker Bell" series, starred in the TV series "State of Georgia" in 2011, was in a few Cheetah Girl movies and appeared in the film "College Road Trip" opposite Martin Lawrence.
Born Raven-Symone Pearman, she says she grew up loving musicals like "Hello, Dolly!" She also has put out four albums under her name, including her most recent self-titled CD in 2008.
Raven-Symone says she is a little nervous about hitting the stage – but not about pleasing critics.
"I'm really not the kind of person who worries about every single review. My thing is my family's going to watch, and I don't want to look stupid on stage. So I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen."
+ Top Story
Russell Baze’s is stuck in a dead-end job at a rural Pennsylvania steel mill rumored to be closing soon. He’s not in a position to abandon the Rust Belt in search of greener pastures, between having to care for his terminally-ill, widowed father and a kid brother, Rodney Jr., suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
At 10:30AM on Tuesday morning, Kim Fields said hello to the latest addition to their family; a baby boy. Fields kind of stole the spotlight from Halle Berry over the summer, who surprised many by announcing she was pregnant at the age of 47.
With the Thanksgiving holiday falling about as late as possible this year, the typical year-end glut of film releases is on an abbreviated schedule. Perhaps for that reason, a healthy percentage of award-friendly movies have already come our way, including 12 Years a Slave...
Nelson “Mandiba” Mandela (Idris Elba) secretly started writing his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” while still serving what he had every reason to believe might very well be a life sentence on Robben Island. The lawyer-turned-spokesman for the outlawed African National Congress had been...
Naima (Jennifer Hudson) is a single-mom struggling to pay the rent on the apartment she shares with son Langston (Jacob Latimore), 15, who’s the same age she was when she had him. Back then, she was as headstrong as he is now, which explains why she ran away from a good home...
‘Science has proved that the brains of white men are superior to the brains of black men.’ ‘The Bible has revealed that God made white men to rule over black men.’ Convinced of these ‘truths’, the rulers of South Africa embarked on a radical experiment...
TV One unveiled its lineup of holiday programming, which will include the premiere of two original specials, the network’s first-ever holiday variety show, “One Christmas”, on Saturday, November 30, 8PM/ET, and Russ Parr’s latest feature film, family drama A Christmas Blessing...
Now he’s gone and done it again. “Bill Cosby: Far From Finished” finds this king of comedy onstage in Cerritos, Calif., where he rules for the 90-minute special airing Saturday, Nov. 23 on Comedy Central (8 p.m. EST). Still, it’s fair to ask: Why so long a break, and why now for his return?