DREAMGIRLS – Dazzles : All Black Cast Smokin’ Hot Musical Tour De Force Fun!
Live Theatre Dreamgirls (G) * * * * * Show Stopper!
By Robert Waldman : Spring is in the air and a young man’s fancy turns to – music. Men and women of all ages (as well as youngsters) are sure to enjoy the final production of the season at The Arts Club Stanley Alliance Stage: Dreamgirls. Based on the hit movie of a few years back this rousing 2 1/2 hour production relives the heyday of the Motown Sound. Get your groove on and head out to the classic old movie venue at Granville and 11th to be part of this marvellous show.
Let’s go back in time to the early 60s where we meet up with three stars in their eyes young girls from windy city Chicago. All small town girls Effy Melody White, Lorrell
Robinson and Deena Jones want is a chance to compete. Perfect casting sees Aurianna Angelique, Starr Dominigue and Karen Holness take to the stage. You can feel the tension and excitement as the MC goes through his preshow warm-up. Nerves are everywhere as the timid trio get their chance to perform at a talent show at New York’s Appolo Theatre no les Stage fright and stardom beckon. Here the key players are presented including a boisterous lead act named Jimmy Thunder resembling a James Brown or Little Richard and a soon to be manager called Curtis Taylor Jr. Who looks to be somewhat in the mould of Motown head honcho Berry Gordy. Impressive in the extreme are Hector Johnson whose soft shoeing will grow on you and Daren Herbert whose way with women causes cleavage in the group to put it mildly. Oh and there are also some light hearted moments amidst the back and forth banter.
Told in two acts, Dreamgirls is a phenomenal show whose music never stops. Boistered by a five piece orchestra and sensational back-up singers and dancers seeing Dreamgirls is like going to the real Appolo Theatre or being at a Live Broadway Show. Acts I and II close and open with a showstopping tour de force by lead singer Effy whose fate takes a turn for the worse when she’s “demoted” by one conniving manager. Weight is the issue as well as “stage presence” as the more slim, prettier Deena gets the lead and all the attention, fame and fortune that goes with it.
Natural heartbreak sets in and we’re wondering what will Effy do?
Said to be based on the story of The Supremes, the group that made Motown and Diana Ross household names and international phenomenas, Dramgirls thrives as a spectacular and inspiring musical.
Veteran Arts Club director Bill Millerd here has hobbled together an outstanding roster of performers with Aurianna Angelique just towering as the cast off Effy.
Real emotion rings in her voice and the on stage and behind the scenes struggle of the three ladies with men, each other and ultimately the music will reel you in.
Gorgeous costumes and quick changes abound in this event special which is full of energy and just a great night out of full value fun. Hummable tunes and a lively spirit engulf the stage which also benefits from a family feel to it. Last to be singled out in this glorious cast is the wordsmith, family man C.C. White who helps pen the tunes for the girls. Male egos collide often in this now “unhappy” family with Ian Yuri Gardner as a potential bridge repairer. Smart and full of style, Dreamgirls is a show that shouts out for approval, something easily achieved.
Inspiring, emotional and full of memorable performances this is one show as good as the movie with a lead singer who can belt out a tune the equal of any one in that fabled film cast – or anywhere else. Now showing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage Theatre until July 7 this is one show that’s a dream come true.
For tickets or more information on Dreamgirls go to www.artsclub.com or phone (604) 687-1644