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Dreamgirls keeps Motown alive

DreamgirlsBY: LYNN MARIE

Photo left: Adrienne Warren (Lorrell), Syesha Mercado (Deena), Moya Angela (Effie). Photo credit Joan Marcus.

Photo below: Moya Angela (Effie). Photo credit Joan Marcus.

Dreamgirls is the story of a black singing group that rises from the slums to national fame and fortune during the 1960’s.

This landmark musical inspired by the career of the Supremes introduces Moya Angela as Effie White and feature, as The Dreams, Syesha Mercado as Deena Jones, Adrienne Warren as Lorrell Robinson.  Syesha Mercado gives an exceptional performance as Deena, and her voice has a striking resemblance to Diana Ross.

The Dreams have their share of obstacles to overcome on the way to stardom.

The girls are starting to see success but there’s some ugly business to deal with back stage.

The act’s over barring manager Curtis (played by Chaz Lamar Sheperd) has come into the Dream’s dressing room to inform Effie who is both his lover and the group’s best singer that she is finished.  Effie is devastated by the news and is left behind as Deena Jones & the Dreams forge ahead without her.

Personal destruction twisted by the pursuit of success. Dreamgirls paints a larger portrayal of the imaginative self denial forced on black recording artists in the 1960’s when crossing over to the pop music scene usually meant toning down and selling out everyone and anyone.
Unlike most musicals, DREAMGIRLS has fewer dialogs read.  The musical has over 40 musical numbers and from record contract negotiations to lovers quarrels it’s all sung.

Although the acting is a little rough around the edges at times, the singing is powerful and the costumes and lighting makes you imagine that you are at a spectacular Las Vegas production show.

The original Broadway production of DREAMGIRLS opened December 20, 1981, at the Imperial Theatre and won six Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards in 1982.  It closed on Broadway August 11, 1985, after 1,521 performances.

Dreamgirls runs until July 18, 2010 at Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas.

For more information, please visit the official DREAMGIRLS website at www.DreamgirlsOnStage.com.

For up-to-date information about DSM, please visit www.dallassummermusicals.org.

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