Cast, Creative Team, and Staff Playlist: Sister Act
In honor of our current production, Sister Act, the show’s cast and artistic team along with the Lyric Stage staff compiled a Spotify playlist of songs that remind us of the show. Here are some of our favorites:
“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?
“My character, Sister Mary Robert, is finally able to find her voice with help and encouragement from Deloris. This song represents her point of view toward the end of the show pretty perfectly to me.” – Kira Troilo, Sister Mary Robert
Known as one of Rachel Platten’s most well-known songs, “Fight Song” has an empowering message that is weaved throughout its lyrics. It evokes motivation for those who need to believe in themselves at moments when they don’t want to. In Sister Act, we are introduced to Sister Mary Robert, who comes off timid and quiet until she receives motivation from Deloris at her start of leading the church choir. This song is an embodiment of what Sister Mary Robert needs, and what she hopes to get from her bond with Deloris and her journey in becoming more confident in herself.
“Armor” by Sara Bareilles
To all the dirty looks, the kitty-cat calls
To the ones who try and throw us up against the back walls
Let me tell you something you’ll understand:
Only the little boys tell you they’re a big man
To all my sisters and all our friends
We have to thank them, please
Strength means blessed with an enemy
“The whole song is just so relevant to the story we’re telling (and the first verse’s reference to the Bible is the cherry on top)!” – Kara Chu Nelson, Sister Mary Eleanor, Tina, Others, u/s Sister Mary Martin-Of-Tours
If you are looking for songs that scream female empowerment and solidarity, “Armor” by Sara Bareilles ranks high on that list. “Armor” is the first single off of Sara Bareilles’ sixth studio album Amidst the Chaos, the song starting off with a groovy piano riff on the lower keys, and slowly building up with syncopated percussion to the anthemic chorus. Bareilles wrote “Armor” in response to the #MeToo movement and released in light of the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Especially when faced with the cruelty of Curtis and his entourage, Deloris and the nuns of the convent are the embodiment of the message that “Armor” conveys.
“Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” by Aretha Franklin and Eurythmics
Sisters are doing it for themselves
Standing on their own two feet
And ringing on their own bells
Sisters are doing it for themselves
With its rapid tempo and groovy instrumentals, it is no surprise that “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” is reminiscent of the fun, chaos, and female empowerment that Sister Act exemplifies. A duet between Aretha Franklin and Eurythmics, “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” was considered a modern feminist anthem at the time of its release as the song explicitly amplifies how women are not given enough credit for their work in society. With the wordplay on “Sisters” and its message of love and friendship (not to mention the feature of the Charles Williams Gospel Choir singing alongside Aretha), this song is incredibly fitting for Sister Act.
“I’m Here” by Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple)
I believe I have inside of me
Everything that I need to live a bountiful life
And all the love alive in me
I’ll stand as tall as the tallest tree
“The beginning of Sister Act sounds similar to the beginning of ‘I’m Here’ and they both mention SISTERS!” – Meghan Rose, Sister Mary Stephen, Dance Captain, u/s Sister Mary Robert, Sister Mary Patrick
“I’m Here” is the 11 o’clock number from The Color Purple, a musical based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker. “I’m Here” is sung through the perspective of Celie, who has for so long defined herself by her relationships with other people in her life. “I’m Here” is a groundbreaking moment for Celie, as she begins to build herself up and sees her own worth and place in the world that she can take up without feeling apologetic. “I’m Here” is a very vulnerable and emotional song as Celie realizes who she is and who she can be, similar to how Deloris realizes the power of love and friendship that the sisters at the convent have given her, changing her perspective on life and how she wants to lead it.
“Still I Can’t Be Still” by Idina Menzel
Yet I have been forgiven
By all whom I’ve betrayed and loved
And I have everything I want
Is it ever enough?
Still I can’t be still
“Even difficult and outside of the box people can find and deserve the love of family and friends.” – Carolyn Saxon, Blessed Severity, Michelle, Others, u/s Deloris Van Cartier
“Still I Can’t Be Still” is the fifth track on Idina Menzel’s debut album of the same name. Much of the song is melancholy and somber as Menzel’s voice slowly crescendos at the bridge, serving as an emotional release in response to lyrics about struggling to accept oneself despite the love around her. This song’s message coincides with Deloris’ inner conflict throughout Sister Act as she struggles to accept the love and warmth of the convent’s sisters by focusing on herself and what is ahead for her. As Carolyn Saxon says, those who are hardest on themselves are the most deserving of love and affirmation.