With Whoopi Goldberg in the audience (despite her fear of flying), the Dutch version of Sister Act premiered in the Circustheater Scheveningen on March 2nd. Helmed by director Carline Brouwer (who took over the direction of the original London version and directed all other incarnations except the Broadway one), the show opended to largely positive reviews.
Here's BroadwayWorld's summary of the reviews by the Dutch national newspapers:
Telegraaf (Esther Kleuver) ***
Sister Act: A sweet sin. Carolina Dijkhuizen is more sexy and contemporary [than Whoopi Goldberg in the movie]. Vocally more than fine, as an actress she still needs to grow into the role. Surefire Simone Kleinsma as a stern Mother Superior. Irene Kuiper is hilarious as Maria Lazarus. The storyline is pretty hollow. Fine cast, sufficient laughs, the music swings.
Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (Jacques d'Ancona) *****
Not a carbon copy of previous versions. The translation by Martine Bijl is more naughty than the Broadway version. Carolina Dijkhuizen: first-rate performance in a first-rate show. A delightful hit, in short.
Metro (Erik Jonk) ****
Carolina Dijkhuizen radiates, has a fantastic voice, doesn't disappoint. Scheveningen welcomes another international hit, after Mary Poppins and Wicked. It's almost a sin to stay at home.
NRC Handelsblad (Henk van Gelder) ****
Top-level casting. Director Carline Brouwer, building on the Broadway direction [by Jerry Zaks], has succeeded in mixing irony and veracity.
Parool (Jos Bloemkolk) ****
Birth of a star: Carolina Dijkhuizen. Sister Act is an improbable story that convinces nonetheless. Although the story has a slow start, the party prevails.
Volkskrant (Patrick van den Hanenberg) **
Goldberg's talent is missed. Carolina Dijkhuizen has a huge voice (a little bit less would be fine too). She's forced by director Carline Brouwer into childish overacting. Simone Kleinsma as Mother Superior hits the brakes every now and then with delightful coolness, illustrating that singing beautifully is not the same as singing loudly. Set and costumes are wonderful but cannot hide that Sister Act is a bag of bones.
Photo credit: Carolina Dijkhuizen (as Doloris Van Catier) and Simone Kleinsma (as Mother Superior), photo by Stage Entertainment.