The hit musical Dreamgirls comes alive on stage at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre. The story line is much the same as we’ve seen on Broadway and the big screen so no surprises there, but the talent in this young cast is amazing. Former American Idol finalist Syesha Mercado, plays “Deena Jones” and delivers a good performance, but it’s the unforgettable Moya Angela who plays “Effie White” that brings the crowd to its feet when she sings “that” song made famous by Jennifer Holiday and helped deliver an Academy Award to Jennifer Hudson for her performance in the movie Dreamgirls!
The story begins at the famed Apollo Theatre in New York City in the 1960's when the girls leave their hometown of Chicago for the “concrete jungle” where their big dreams inspire them to take a risk! But their luck was just beginning when they meet the self-serving, underhanded and wicked “Curtis Taylor” played by Chaz Lamar Shepherd who takes them from an unknown group to Jimmy Early backup singers before letting them shine on their own to become international superstars. “All you have to do is dream” as the title song suggests offers the audience an amazing odyssey inspired by music and travel throughout the musical taking these Midwest girls to Paris and beyond.
As with any girl group, there was a little fighting going on amidst the gorgeous gowns, wigs, love affairs and egos. But by the end of the story, the girls make their way around the world only to return home to find that life isn’t always about fame and fortune but how you treat people along the way. Each of the girls start a journey of self-discovery and begin “Changing” from girls who just wanted to sing to powerful women taking control of their lives... becoming better than they were, while staring in the second act of life. In the end, the power of friendship leads them back to what really matters… as they say “there’s no place like home” and the love of true friends to help you get there.
I love the Dreamgirls story and found this musical to be both entertaining and surprisingly funny. Actors Chestor Gregory (James “Thunder” Early) and Adrienne Warren (Lorrell Robinson) also gave the crowd something to clap about with memorable lines and soul-stirring performances. This is definitely one to check out before its limited engagement in the ATL is over. The show runs through October 17th, 2010 in Atlanta but may come to a town near you as part of a national tour so check your local listings.
A line from one of my favorite songs from Dreamgirls
“Every man has his own special dream and that dream is just about to come true… life’s not as bad as it may seem if you open your eyes to what’s in front of you. All you got to do is DREAM!”
What do you dream about?