By Kris Kelly
CBS 62/CW50 Community Affairs Manager
When touring companies come to town, I love to hear about the cast members who have local connections. Rochester Hills native Amy Persons plays Sister Mary-Martin-of-Tours (the nun that falls asleep) in the First National Tour of “Sister Act” which is headed to the Fisher Theatre April 22 – May 4, 2014.
I had a chance to find out about Amy, life on the road, and some inside info on “Sister Act.” She even shares a secret about the show; something you should watch out for when you go.
Who is Amy Persons?
I grew up in Rochester Hills and went to Rochester High School. I lived there until I was 21, and then I moved to New York City to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. I also have a BA in Theatre from Western Michigan University…GO BRONCOS! My sister, aunts, uncles and cousins all live in Metro Detroit still and I’m hoping everyone can come see the show!
What is it like performing before family and friends?
It’s always so great to perform in your home state/home town! The energy is always amazing! I’ve performed in Detroit twice before. Once with the national tour of “Grease” and another time with “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.” Both of those were at the Fox however. This is my first time performing at the Fisher Theater! I’m very excited!
What are you looking forward to seeing/doing?
I’m looking to spending time with my family. Because I have kinda a weird and wonderful job that takes me away from people I love, I’m always anxious to spend time with them when I can. And home cooked meals! We don’t get enough of those on the road, that’s for sure!
What do your cast mates want to know about Detroit?
People on the road always want suggestions on yummy food, drinks, and fun places to explore that are special to that state or city. I think I’ll suggest the DIA, the Detroit Zoo and Greenfield Village.
What is it like touring the country in Sister Act?
I really love touring. I honestly love living out of a suitcase….for real! Probably because I hate cooking for myself and we rarely do that, of course. “Sister Act” is a really special show that appeals to so many different people, so everyone really loves it. It’s great to get that wonderful feedback from people from all over the country.
Do you have a favorite part or moment in the show?
I think it’s the exchange between Delores and Mother Superior at the end of the show. I don’t want to give it away but they both realize something very special about each other that stays with them. I think the best shows are the ones where the character(s) goes through something dramatic and is changed because of it. “Sister Act” has that for sure, and it’s also hysterical which is the icing on the cake!
How does the play compare to the movie?
The basic story line is the same for the movie and the musical. One thing that people don’t realize though is that our show has all original music that has been specifically written for the show…..so some of the songs may be a bit unfamiliar but you’ll definitely come out tapping your feet and laughing your head off!
What are the audiences like?
The audiences have been amazing! Right now we’re collecting for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and we stand in the lobby, outside of the theater with buckets to collect money. It’s so wonderful to hear that they love the show! Where else but a great job like mine, do people give you a standing ovation every night?
Often there is a line or a scene in a play/movie that “resonates” with you (or the audience). Is there one in this show?
The biggest message of “Sister Act” is “nothing matters more than love.” In fact, the finale of the show is called “Spread the Love Around.” And really, what else matters more than that?
Is there anything we should watch for onstage…some clever business that might get overlooked if you aren’t watching for it?
Hmmmm…..clever business? Well, here’s a challenge….there’s a part in the show where a character changes clothes twice in front of the audience’s eyes and rarely do people figure out how quickly it happens. So come and see the show and see if you can figure it out!
Want more info on Amy? You can find her online at amypersons.com.
“Sister Act” is based on the mega-hit feature film of the same name and features an original Alan Menken/Glenn Slater score with a vast inspiration of musical styles from Motown, soul and funk to great big disco anthems and Barry White inspired musical comedy. It’s produced by Whoopi Goldberg, Stage Entertainment and Troika Entertainment. “Sister Act” received five 2011 Tony Award nominations: BEST MUSICAL, BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (Alan Menken (music)/Glenn Slater (lyrics)), BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL (Cheri & Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane), BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL (Patina Miller) and BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL (Victoria Clark).