Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The Next Big Star: Marla Mindelle
The criminally underrated musical adaptation of Sister Act (by Alan Menken and Douglas Carter Beane, at the Broadway Theatre) is notable for many reasons, including a breakout performance by newcomer Patina Miller and the always-appreciated presence of Tony winner Victoria Clark. The show's real star turn, however, belongs to Marla Mindelle, as the shy novice nun who, with the help of Deloris Van Cartier (Miller), finds her voice and proceeds to raise it to the rafters. The role of Sister Mary Robert could easily be lost among the shuffle of plot twists and group numbers, but in Mindelle's exceedingly capable hands her journey became the focal point whenever she graced the stage. Mindelle's superb second-act solo, "The Life I Never Led," stopped the show cold when I saw it and left me mentally compiling a list of roles she needs to play (Fanny Brice, anyone?). All in all, don't be surprised when this insanely talented singing actress joins the ranks of Broadway's upper echelon.