By Robert Waldman : Ever wonder what’s it’s like to be a performer. Well, three of the leads in the hit Arts Club Production of Dreamgirls took time out to dish the dirt on their careers, hopes and aspirations.
Cast as lead Effy is Aurianna Angelique. Living the dream from the ripe old age of 6 she began singing Gospel. Our lead singer was born in California to a jazz singer of a mom and “earned” her first role at 7. Aurianna went to school with stints at Orange Country High and followed up her academics at New York City’s The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. From there it was easy sailing having a brother Miles Wesley as her guiding light.
Well rounded and highly articulate Effy’s on stage dynamism is well patterned as our leading lady counts Broadway’s Jennifer’s Holiday and filmdom’s Jennifer Hudson as true inspirations. Lots of hard work and strenuous notes are achieved by this lady’s unforgettable emotional singing. Being Aurianna’s first time in Vancouver she is awed by its natural beauty. Expect her to return to our blessed city for more future events
Cast member number two, Starr Domingue, packs quite the punch as Lorrell Robinson who is like Mary Wilson on stage. Born in Scarborough Ontario to a compassionate mom this first generation lass’s parents emigrated to the great white north from the tropical paradise of Trinidad and Tobago. Early on the acting bug hit Starr which saw here engage in competitive baton twirling at 4 along the way to world champion status. Oh, and a year earlier our little girl started in on ballet. Imagine the joy when she got her first paying gig as a secretary in the Ministry of Health at 16.
Despite wanting to be a lawyer smart moves and some encouragement from a friendly professor saw her flee dull dry books of legalese for an arts elective and ultimately a burgeoning theatrical career. Why Ms. Domingue even got an early jot as a performer on a Disney Cruise Line and graduated on board! An admirer of Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Ella, Ms. Streisand, Sarah Vaughn, Anita Baker and Chaka Khan singing was definitely in this lady’s blood. Having a mom who was a singer and an older brother who’s a noted lyricist from Brass Tacks made singing an easy choice to follow. Travel, healthy eating and a love of theatre all contribute to Starr’s dynamic presence.
Performer number three in the Diana Ross mould is Karen Holness who shines as Deena Jones. To overcome shyness Karen’s mom got her into dance lessons from 12 and then she underwent private voice training from 12-18. Born in the garden parish of St. Ann’s Jamaica to a dress making mom and mechanically inclined dad dancing and singing was in this little lady’s blood. Along with sister Deborah Cox the pair entertained constantly showing a flair for show business. That flair has been fully realized with Karen’s dazzling display on stage. She got her first break by “crashing” an audition for the role of Mrs. Potiphar for Dreamcoat with Donny Osmond and quickly moved up the show biz ladder to today being the lead in hit television series Cashing In. Other notable film credits include being wives to both Danny Glover and Laurence Fishburne in Donovan’s Echo and Tortured. Count the likes of Ella, Patti Labelle, Aretha, Sarah Vaughan, Carol Burnett and Robert DeNiro as perfomers Karen admires. Fan advice from Karen includes being your own boss, staying motivated and always learning. Self motivation and discipline are also important keys to success from this woman’s playbook. Vancouver has obviously struck a glowing chord for Karen who has lived in our fair city for 10 years. This has given her an opportunity to take up golf as a pastime whenever she can get away from the 10 hour a day rehearsals for the 8 Dreamgirls shows a week..
Consider this Dreamgirls production to be a crowning achievement for all three ladies who seem to have taken our province by storm. Don’t miss the show!