THEATERMANIA: This has been a busy year for you, from The Addams Family to Saving Aimee and now Sister Act. How did this job come about?
CAROLEE CARMELLO: I'm not totally sure. I didn't audition. I got a call from my manager while I was in Seattle doing Saving Aimee. He said they are replacing Victoria Clark and asked if I would be interested. I said, "yes," and thought I would audition when I got back. A few days later, they called and offered me the job. I never even saw the show.
TM: So when did you first see the musical?
CC: I saw it the day before I started rehearsals. Sister Act was what I expected. It was a lot of fun and very energetic. The audience was having a good time, and I had a great time!
TM: Was it challenging returning from Seattle and jumping right into this show?
CC: Yes, but only because Saving Aimee is the toughest role I have done vocally. My voice was so tired when I finished the run. I had three days off in between, but I'm fine now.
TM: Is it more difficult coming in as a replacement than originating a role?
CC: I've done it quite a bit. It's difficult in some ways, but in others it's easier. Coming in as a replacement, all of the kinks have been worked out and all of the bumps have been smoothed over. Creating a role is exciting, but can be challenging and tiring. You do have more exposure when you create a role and are involved in the creative process. The other downside with coming in as a replacement is that I don't have the bonding time with the cast.
TM: How would you describe Mother Superior?
CC: She is a woman who sees the world in black and white, no pun intended. She sees the right and wrong. It isn't until she meets Deloris that she sees the shades of gray in the world. Mother Superior has a great journey in the show. She is very respectful of all of the traditions of the convent and believes that she knows what's best for her sisters. There's a very touching moment at the end of the show when Mother Superior and Deloris come together. I was moved by it.