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Revamped 'Sister Act' with diverse cast gets ready for international premiere

Oct. 27, 2023 - 15:58 By Park Ga-young
The "Sister Act" cast perform during an open rehearsal that took place at Dongseo University in Busan, Wednesday. (EMK)

The remake of the musical "Sister Act, which is getting ready for its world premiere on Nov. 4 in Busan, caused a buzz when it showcased its diverse cast at an open rehearsal at Dongseo University in the southern port city on Wednesday.

The production house behind the musical is South Korea's EMK Musical Company, known for its success in turning international productions into popular musicals here. "Sister Act" is a blend of Korean and American talent, including cast members from Broadway and director Robert Johanson, who has collaborated with EMK since 2007 on various productions.

"We have seven Korean actors joining the American company. Among the Americans, we have many ethnicities represented. For me, that picture says so much about a global message which I'd like to put forward now of these present times," Johanson told reporters after the rehearsal. "More than ever, I think we have to look at ourselves in the whole world as one people -- people that celebrate each other's differences and their similarities," he added.

(From left, clockwise) Kim Ji-won, CEO of EMK International, director Robert Johanson, music director BA Huffman, South Korean musical actress Kim So-hyang and American actresses Mary Gutzi and Nicole Vanessa Ortiz (EMK International)

In the starring roles, Nicole Vanessa Ortiz takes on the role of Deloris; Mary Gutzi portrays Mother Superior; and South Korean actress Kim So-hyang plays Mary Robert. Kim was the first Asian cast member in the Asian tour of the original “Sister Act” in 2017.

The creative team said that while they kept the music and lyrics of the original musical, they completely revamped the physical production to add more warmth and colors with more advanced lighting and technology that have become available in the past 15 years since the original musical was introduced in 2016.

The musical adaptation of “Sister Act” is based on the hit 1992 film of the same title.

After an eight-day run at Sohyang Theater, “Sister Act” will meet audiences in Seoul from Nov. 21 of this year until Feb. 11, 2024 at D-cube Link Arts Center.