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November 14, 2008

Whoppi's Sister Act Hits West End

Hollywood star Whoopi Goldberg is to produce a musical version of her hit film Sister Act for the London stage.

The musical will open at the London Palladium in June next year, after The Sound Of Music closes at the theatre in February.

Oscar-winning actress Goldberg, 53, played sassy lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier, who is put into protective custody after seeing a murder, in the 1992 film.

She is given a new identity as a nun and hidden away in a convent, but when she turns her attention to the convent's off-key choir she risks blowing her cover.

The US actress will not be reprising her star role for the stage musical, and has already begun the process of searching for the cast.

She is hoping to conquer her fear of flying to travel to London for the rehearsals.

Goldberg, who won a best supporting actress Oscar in 1991 for her role in Ghost, said of her decision to produce the musical comedy: "If you are fortunate enough to be a part of something wonderful, I feel it's important to pass the baton.

"The best way for me to be a part of this new incarnation of Sister Act is to make sure everyone knows it's happening. The stage version of the show is fresh and new and I'm beyond thrilled to be part of it."

Joop Van Den Ende, president of Stage Entertainment, which is co-producing the show, said: "I have wanted to bring Deloris. one of her (Goldberg's) classic roles, to the stage for a long, long time."

The musical will feature a score by Alan Menken, the Oscar- winning composer of songs which have appeared in Disney movies such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, Aladdin, and Enchanted, with lyrics by long-time collaborator Glenn Slater.

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