‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’ was soulful.
Oh Happy Day! Little Red Co’s vibrant celebration of sisterhood, belonging and the unifying power of music has returned to Brisbane stages with their 2022 Matilda Award nominated ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’.
Despite being described as a celebration of the iconic Sister Act soundtrack, you don’t have to be ordained with an intimate knowledge of the celestial movies to be elevated to a higher power with this joyful, joyful show.
Combining a heavenly mix of Sister Act references like the deep shoulder action in ‘My Guy (My God)’ (if you know, you know) as well as personal stories from the performers and toe tapping musical numbers injected with Whoopie Goldberg energy, the show truly had something for everyone.
Created by Naomi Price and Adam Brunes, ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’ was well structured hitting not just the expected humour and euphoria, but also key emotional marks. The performers’ stories truly took the audience on a journey of reflection on their own empowerment, what it meant to them to be a sister and relationship with music. Price’s direction ensured that each story was given the space it deserved, heightening the emotional impact, especially Alisha Todd’s story about not being able to share her singing with her mother. The show also never missed a beat, with tight transitions between toe tapping numbers and all performers working cohesively to create a show you never wanted to end.
Raising the roof with euphoric songs including ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Oh Happy Day’, ‘I Will Follow Him’ and more, were the divine divas Prinnie Stevens, Danielle Remulta, Irena Lysiuk and Alisha Todd backed by Little Red Co’s electrifying live band, Mik Easterman on drums, OJ Newcomb on bass, Damian Sim on piano and JaZZella on guitar.
As individuals and as a group, the quartet of skilful soulful singers shone brightly and complemented each other’s performances showcasing the epitome of sisterhood.
Prinnie Stevens’ performance was the embodiment of Whoopie Goldberg. She sang the story of finding her voice within a conservative Tongan family and never looking back with power and passion.
Making her ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’ debut was Danielle Remulta. Remulta was courageous in her performance and delivered an exuberant rendition of the soulful ‘Rescue Me’.
Irena Lysiuk was pure sunshine. Alongside her heavenly vocals, Lysiuk injected bright moments of comedy into the performance and elevated the musical numbers to new whistle note-ing heights.
Finally, Alisha Todd was smooth and stunning with dreamy vocals. She drew the audience in with some of the show’s most impactful and emotionally charged moments and her heartfelt duet with Stevens of ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow’ was showstopping.
Musical direction and arrangements by Alex Van den Broek were heavenly. From an acapella arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’ to big belt soulful smash hits, Van den Broek’s skill in showcasing not only the quartet’s solo voices but tight four-part harmonies was mesmerising. While honouring the original material, Van den Broek also injected a modern groove to more period pieces making for fresh, feel good music.
Geoff McGahan’s sound design created a church-like acoustic for gospel numbers and ensured a full cohesive sound, especially when the quartet was boosted with backing vocals by their groovy, nunsensical choir.
Lighting design by Jason Glenwright created some striking visuals like spotlights shining down on each performer as they sang ‘I Am Light’, and evoking a ray of sunshine beaming down on Todd and Stevens from behind the beautiful stained glass window of Stevens designed by Jacob Brewer as the duo sang the tear enduing ‘His Eye is On the Sparrow’.
Completing the powerhouse performers’ look were stylish white and black outfits by Gail Sorronda bringing a new level of chic to nun’s habits.
Little Red Co said that ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’ would melt the clouds of sin and sadness and leave you holy satisfied, and they could not have been more correct! For a full evening of exceptional music, inspirational stories and an uplifting reminder of the power of sisterhood, look no further than ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’. To put it simply, Little Red Co have done it again, and should be highly commended for yet another exceptional production.
‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’ raised the roof for just four nights only. Follow The Little Red Co website to stay up to date with future productions.