Sister Act Synopsis

 

Act 1

On Christmas Eve in Philadelphia, Doris Carter, who calls herself Deloris Van Cartier, is seen performing for her gangster boyfriend Curtis Jackson in the nightclub he owns (“Take Me to Heaven”). Deloris is overjoyed as she believes her boyfriend is going to introduce her to a record producer on that day, although she soon learns that this is not to be. Jackson tells her he cannot join her for Christmas Day, but gives her a coat, which she discovers belonged to his wife. Hurt and frustrated, Deloris tells her backup singers Michelle and Tina, about her dreams of stardom and fame (“Fabulous, Baby!”). She decides to break up with Jackson and head out of Philadelphia to go fulfil her dreams on her own. However, she gets to Jackson just in time to see him and his crew – made up of daft and childlike nephew TJ, suave second-in-command Joey, and Spanish speaking Pablo – shoot one of his members who they believe has “squealed” about them to the cops.

Horrified, Deloris runs away and Jackson orders his men to get her and kill her. Deloris runs to a police station and tells the desk chief, Eddie, about what happened. The two recognize each other as old friends from school with Deloris calling him “Sweaty Eddie”. Eddie decides that Deloris needs to go into the witness protection program and sends her to the place he believes Jackson will never find her – a convent called The Holy Order of the Little Sisters of Our Mother of Perpetual Faith.

Deloris is disappointed by this idea as she learns from the Mother Superior that contact with the outside world is limited, and that she cannot smoke, drink, or wear any of her less than appropriate clothing (“Here Within These Walls”). Deloris joins the other nuns for dinner, is introduced as Sister Mary Clarence, and after several comedic interactions with the overly perky Sister Mary Patrick, Deloris discovers just how much is limited when she is a nun (“It’s Good to Be A Nun”). Deloris asks them about what they are missing, and Mother Superior makes Deloris go on a fast.

Meanwhile, back in his nightclub, Jackson is frustrated that he cannot find Deloris anywhere. He tells Joey, TJ and Pablo how he will not stop until he finds and kills Deloris (“When I Find My Baby”).

Back at the convent Deloris is hungry from the fast and bored by the simple life of the nuns, so she decides to hit the town. She goes across the street to a slinky bar, and is followed by Sister Mary Patrick and Sister Mary Robert, a shy and quiet nun. When the two nuns arrive, they see how fun things can be outside of the convent. However, Deloris recognizes Joey, TJ, and Pablo entering the bar. Suddenly there is a fight in the bar after Joey, TJ and Pablo mistaken a drag queen for Deloris, giving Deloris, Sister Mary Patrick, and Sister Mary Robert a chance to escape.

Eddie and Mother Superior meet them back at the convent. Mother Superior confronts Deloris, telling her that she must conform to the life of the nuns. Eddie agrees, telling Deloris that Jackson has upped the price on her head, so she needs to be careful. Deloris storms back to the convent after being informed that she has to wake up at 5 a.m. and join the choir. Eddie, now alone with only the drunks and homeless on the street, sings of his desire to be cool, to let go, and impress Deloris (“I Could Be That Guy”).

The following morning Deloris attends the choir practice and realizes how bad it is. Deloris offers to try teaching them, taking over from Sister Mary Lazarus, an older and crankier nun with a love for rapping. Deloris teaches the nuns how to sing in key and in time. She also manages to break the quiet and timid Sister Mary Robert out of her shell (“Raise Your Voice”).

That Sunday, the choir perform an up-tempo hymn (“Take Me to Heaven (Reprise)”) which to the struggling church’s surprise brings in more people and more donations. Mother Superior, however, is horrified how the simple traditional choir she knew has changed and become modern.

Act 2

Mother Superior wants to get rid of Deloris, but Monsignor O’Hara tells her that the men who were planning to buy the church love the choir, and have given their money to improve and keep the church. Over the coming weeks, the choir has become incredibly successful and the money from donations has paid for the church to be remodelled and fixed (“Sunday Morning Fever”). Furthermore, Monsignor O’Hara has some terrific news: the choir has been asked to perform a special concert in front of the Pope. However, the newfound fame comes at a price.

Jackson and his goons spot Deloris with the choir on the television. Jackson orders his boys to get into the convent and bring Deloris to him. TJ, Joey, and Pablo discuss how they will do this (“Lady in the Long Black Dress”).

Meanwhile, Mother Superior prays to God and asks why He has given her the challenge that is Deloris (“Haven’t Got A Prayer”). But she soon gets a call from Eddie. Deloris is approached by the Nuns before they go to sleep, asking her to lead them praying for their show for the Pope, which is the following day (“Bless the Show”).

Mother Superior arrives and tells Deloris that the court date for Jackson has moved up to the next day and she must leave immediately. The other nuns overhear and Deloris is forced to tell them the truth about who she really is and that she cannot perform with them. Deloris quickly runs off to get her things followed by Sister Mary Robert while the other nuns disappointedly go back to their rooms.

As Deloris prepares to leave, Sister Mary Robert begs to come with her, claiming that she has been inspired to become a stronger person and go after the things she wants (“The Life I Never Led”). Deloris tells her that she doesn’t need her to do that, and that she can do it all herself if she really wants to.

Deloris runs from the convent and stays at Eddie’s house for the night. While there she initially is overjoyed that the following day she will testify against Jackson and his boys and then go back to pursuing the career she’s dreamed of (“Fabulous, Baby! (Reprise)”). But guilty for abandoning her sisters when they needed her, she reflects on her life and realizes that the choices she is making will leave her with nothing but fame and money, and when the lights go out, she will be alone. She decides to return to the convent and sing with her sisters (“Sister Act”).

Meanwhile, Jackson thinks up a new way to get into the convent (“When I Find My Baby (Reprise)”). Dressed as nuns, Jackson, Joey, TJ and Pablo sneak into the convent; they find and chase Deloris. The Nuns see that, and they all prepare to protect Deloris. Mother Superior, however, is adamant that they stay and call the police, prompting an outburst from Sister Mary Robert who tells her that she won’t be quiet and take orders blindly anymore; that she is going to help Deloris (“The Life I Never Led (Reprise)”). The other nuns agree and all of them go running through the convent looking for Deloris.

It all comes down to a final confrontation in which Jackson, armed and dangerous, tells Deloris to get on her knees and beg for her life. However, all the sisters and nuns stand in front of her telling Jackson that he will have to go through them first (“Sister Act (Reprise)”). Jackson is about to start firing at the nuns when Eddie comes in and shoots him. He arrests Jackson and his boys and Deloris and he share a kiss.

Mother Superior and Deloris come to a truce and accept that perhaps they are not so different after all.

The show ends with all the nuns and eventually the entire cast performing for the Pope (“Spread the Love Around”).

The cast then perform “Raise Your Voice (Reprise)” as a curtain call.

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