REVIEW: Catch the Dream at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts E-mail
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Entertainment & Arts
Written by Sandra Green   
Saturday, 02 April 2016 18:45

When it comes to diversity in the arts, the McCoy Rigby Entertainment Group is ahead of the game (you know what I'm talkin' about), especially with their latest presentation, the Tony and Oscar Award winning musical Dreamgirls, currently in its off-Broadway run from now through April 17th at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts that continues to bring phenomenal productions to our own diverse community.

Brittney Johnson, Jasmin Richardson and Danielle Truitt star in the production of "DREAMGIRLS" - Directed and Choreographed by Robert Longbottom and now playing at LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS.

Set in the early 60's when the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York was busting at its seams with performers like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and The Supremes, an amateur night of sorts is where Dreamgirls begins.

This musical moves quickly as The Dreamettes (channel The Ronettes) miss out on their chance of stardom.  They are quickly offered to sing back up for the star known as Jimmy "Thunder" Early and despite hesitation by the groups lead singer, Effie (played by Moya Angela) Lorrell (Brittney Johnson) and Deena (Jasmin Richardson) the other two-thirds of The Dreamettes convince Effie this can be the groups "big break."

Cut to The Dreamgirls, now taking stage with Early, popular with hit after hit--- no.  What actually happens is indicative of the early 60's when musicians like Little Richard or Muddy Waters penned the songs that would be sung by the non-African American contemporary--- a popular hit on the backs of an artist not credited. Soon the tension becomes apparent amongst The Dreams (formerly The Dreamettes) and a split and replacement of a lead singer transpires.  Over a course of nearly a decade, we see the evolution of a female trio, the decline of a musical genre, and the success of writers and performers alike.

I went to see Dreamgirls without much known of the story as I have never seen the movie that starred Beyonce, Eddie Murphy, and Jennifer Hudson.  I'm happy I didn't because going in with preconceived notions on how this cast "should" perform hits like "one Night Only" and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" would be unfair to the cast.

What I can tell you with utmost certainty is that the performances in McCoy Rigby's production are on point.  I suggest you prepare yourself to be blown away by the vocals of Moya Angela.  You may never hear such vocals live like hers.  The costume changes and design are stunningly beautiful and rightfully so applauded. The story line is quick moving, songs moving fluidly, actors performing their best.  It's easy to see why this story, books and lyrics by Tom Eyen, music by Henry Krieger as received the accolades of Tony and Oscar.

Directed and Choreographed by Robert Longbottom, Musical Director and Conductor Dennis Catellano.  Dreamgirls stars Moya Angela (Effie), Jasmin Richardson (Deena), Brittney Johnson (Lorrell), Danielle Truitt (Michelle), David LaMarr (Jimmy), Scott People (Curtis), John Devereaux (C.C), and Lorenzo Hughes (Marty).  Ensemble Cast features:  Brandon Burks, Andrew Darnell Meyers, Davon Williams, Dedrick Bonner, Chavis Humphrey, Eran Scoggins, Trance Thompson, Remmie Bourgeois, MiahBlake, Liisi LaFontaine, Loreigna Sinclair, Fatima El-Bashir, Jennifer Akabue, and Fay James.

Scene Design by Robin Wagner, Lighting Design by Ken Billinton.  Sound Design by Julie Ferrin. Costum Design by William Ivey Long.  Hair/Make-up/Wig Design by Joy Marcelle, Props Design by Terry Hanrahan.  Casting by Julia Flores and Production Stage Manager is Alan Coats.

Dreamgirls runs through Sunday, April 17th.

Tickets range from $20-$70 and can be purchased at the La Mirada Performing Arts Center Box Office or at the theatre’s website here.

Some language and suggestive material.



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