These days all the buzz about Raven-Symoné tends to be be more about her personal opinions. From her comments on her race (“I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American”) to her opinion when a reporter said Michelle Obama looked like a monkey (“I don’t think what he’s saying is racist. Some people look like animals… Is that rude? I look like a bird”), she is definitely not afraid to take an unpopular opinion and stick to it. It was recently announced that Symoné has been named the newest co-host on television talk show The View. But before all the media hoopla, Raven-Symoné performed on Broadway in the musical Sister Act, and was getting more press from her talent, rather than her made-for-Twitter commentary.
In 2012, Symoné took on the role of lounge singer-turned-nun Deloris Van Cartier (famously played by Whoopi Goldberg in the film of the same name), who witnesses a murder and is put in protective custody in a convent. Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and an uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique dance moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community, but in doing so blows her cover.
In the Broadway production, the role was originally played by Patina Miller, who earned a Tony Award nomination; Sister Act was also nominated for Best Musical and Best Featured Actress in a Musical. In an interview with Huffington Post, Symoné said she fell in love with the musical the moment she saw it. “I was definitely one of the audience members dancing in the aisles. I think it’s a wonderfully scored and directed and written musical. I’m very excited to be part of this.” She concluded by saying, “I’m really not the kind of person who worries about every single review. My thing is my family’s going to watch, and I don’t want to look stupid on stage. So I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Sister Act ultimately ran for a little over a year on Broadway, to largely positive and enthusiastic reviews.