Sister Act is based on the 1992 movie of the name, starring Whoopi Goldberg. The musical originated in the US in 2006/2007 regional productions at the Pasadena Playhouse in California and Theatre Alliance in Atlanta before opening in 2009 at the London Palladium. The West End version was produced in part by Whoopi Goldberg (who also briefly played the role of Reverend Mother). Goldberg was also a producer of the 2011 Broadway adaptation, which underwent significant rewrites prior to the Broadway premiere. It received five Tony Award nominations in 2011 including best leading actress, Patina Miller, best musical, and best original score, Alan Menken. This show was Patina Miller’s broadway debut, and earned her many award nominations, including the Tony Nomination for best actress. She won a Theatre World Award for this role as well. At the time Sister Act arrived on Broadway, composer Alan Menken had two other musicals running: Newsies and Leap of Faith. All three of these were new musicals running at the same time--an extremely rare feat to achieve.

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