Whoopi Goldberg has teamed with Stage Entertainment to produce a London incarnation of “Sister Act,” the tuner adaptation of the 1992 pic in which Goldberg starred.
Goldberg will not appear in the legit version, opening in June at the London Palladium. Former Disney exec Peter Schneider, long associated with the project, directs.
With music by Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid”), lyrics by Glenn Slater and book by Cherie and Bill Steinkellner (best known for TV work including “Cheers”), the show originally bowed in 2006 at Pasadena Playhouse. Schneider helmed the musical there as well as at Alliance Theater in Atlanta in 2007.
Plot of the comedy centers on a murder witness who is put in protective custody in a convent.
“It’s a fish out of water story, and what works better in a musical? Nothin’,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg, who won a Tony as a producer on “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in 2002, was approached to join the project by Stage Entertainment, the Euro producing org topped by Joop Van Den Ende.
Addition of Goldberg, currently one of the presenters on “The View,” looks to attract the attention of fans of the movie. But Goldberg cautioned that the musical is not identical to the pic, adding it never occurred to her to star in the stage version.
“Hell no. Are you crazy? No no no,” she said.
“Act” is not the only legit project on Goldberg’s plate at the moment. She said she hopes to get the previously announced Rialto revival of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls…,” scuttled earlier this season when investors backed out, on the Broadway boards by around September 2009.
She’s also on the producing team of a new musical, “Bricktop,” about Paris nightlife sensation Ada “Bricktop” Smith.
“Sister Act” begins perfs at the Palladium May 6 ahead of June 2 opening, with tickets currently on sale through February 2010.