By Cheryl Brown –
Opening night, anticipation is high, the curtain goes up and the new cast of Dreamgirls appears with the former cast sitting in the audience.
Imagine the pressure: Jennifer Holiday, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Loretta Devine, anticipation was high; but they did it. They took the production and made it their own. The choreography, wardrobe and the hair styles took you back to a happy time in American music.
The story is based on the life of Dianna Ross and the Supremes and of the Black music of the 1960s/1970s. The original Broadway show blew away audiences and in 1982 won 6 Tony Awards.
The Jennifer Holiday song “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” was magnificently performed by Moya Angela (Effie White). She made it her own when she took the powerful song and knocked it out of the theatre. Each performer came with their “A” game and the audience loved it.
We wanted to hear what the original cast had to say, Jennifer Holiday, promised to talk with the press and then refused. She seemed very moved or upset by it and couldn’t speak. We missed Loretta Devine but Sheryl Lee Ralph was excited and pleased to talk about the show and the show’s technological improvements. All the technology was not around in the 80’s.
“It’s a wonderful production. There is a massive improvement in the technology. The rolling LED is wonderful. The performance is just great.”
“The song “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going ” was phenomenal,” said Ralph.
Former Miss USA , Kenya Moore said she would have to come back and see the performance again.
“Singing, dancing and acting is inspiring to me. I am a dancer but she (Moya Angela) does it all. I can’t take my eyes off her,” said Moore.
Actress Dawnn Lewis said it was fantastic. It kept the excellence of the original but they made it their own. This is an amazing cast. They were all brilliant. And Moya had big shoes to fill.”
Angela Bassett and her husband, Courtney B. Vance were really excited as we left the theatre, he kept singing the theme song and wouldn’t stop.
“The production was tremendous” they both said happily.
You only have a few more days to see this wonderful production at the Ahamanson Theatre in Los Angeles. For information visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400.
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