One of the most iconic musicals in recent times, Dreamgirls, is finally coming to The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, this December and yesterday the new show run was launched in spectacular style, with a live lounge style set in the theatre’s Piano Bar. I went along to enjoy the launch and have to say, the show is looking like an absolute must see.
Dreamgirls is the story of the rise of an all girl trio in America in the 1960s (said to be based on The Supremes) and the trials and tribulations, the friendships and betrayals, and the relationships that envelope the personel, Effie, Deena and Lorell, and the male singer Jimmy Early. A smash hit film of the musical starred Beyonce, and launched the career of the incredible Jennifer Hudson, who won the Oscar for best supporting actress in 2007 for her portrayel of Effie, the singer with the voice, if not necessarily the look for the 1960s pop scene. Now the stageshow is finally arriving in Birmingham, delayed from 2020 due to the pandemic, and is looking set to be the hottest ticket in Midlands theatre this Christmas.
The live lounge set introduced the super talented cast who will be playing the lead roles, Nicole Raquel Dennis as Effie White, Natalie Kassanga as Deena Jones, Paige Peddie as Lorell Robinson, and Brandon Lee Sears as Jimmy Early. Together with Brian Streeter on guitar and Cameron Lee on percussion, they performed four songs from the show, ‘Fake your way to the top’ (whole company), ‘Ain’t No Party’ (Paige and Brandon), ‘Listen’ (Nicole and Natalie) and @I am Changing’ (Nicole). The songs sounded just incredible, particularly the spine tingingly Listen, which was performed so emotionally that I had tears in my eyes (just a bit emotional at the moment), and really bought the flavour of the show to the Piano Bar, and certainly showed why Dreamgirls is one of the best of the modern musicals.
Dreamgirls at the Alexandra Birmingham from 6 to 31 December 2022
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