Musical Theater: Dreamgirls Review!

By Brandan on 1/25/2010 09:00:00 AM

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Alright here we go, my first theater review. I hope you guys enjoy it and leave your comments if you want me to continue doing reviews like this.
Dreamgirls has been revived for the Broadway stage that combines both the original play & the film. If you're not familiar with this story, its about a group called The Dreams that goes through the trials and tribulations of being in the music business.
The show is very well put together from the set, costumes, & song layout. It stars Syesha Mercado(Deena Jones), Moya Angela(Effie White), Adrienne Warren(Lorell Robinson) Chester Gregory (Jimmy "Thunder" Early), & Chaz Lamar Shepherd(Curtis Taylor Jr.).
The choreography is so amazing, especially on the song "Steppin' To The Bad Side" I was in awe(Shane Sparks & Robert Longbottom choreographed the entire show). The acting aspect of the show is on point and the music doesn't disappoint. Chester Gregory steals the show as Jimmy Early with his talented dancing and singing, this guy is amazing and if this guy wasn't in the wouldn't be as good as it is.
Of course when you hear "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" you think of Jennifer Holiday or Hudson; but Moya delivers her own version which is very good. Even though she has a big voice and range I wish she would have more of that umph or pizazz that Effie is suppose to have...I feel she doesn't take it to the full limit and I know she has it inside of her.
Now with Syesha, I had a few problems with her when she was made the lead of the group. On the song "Dreamgirls" she falls kind of flat to me and I wish she would be a little louder and have more of that confident attitude the character is suppose to have. After that she was good in the rest of the songs which made me wonder if she was coached to sing the previous song that way or if she can't reach those notes that the arrangement demands.

Adrienne was phenomenal as Lorell, great voice. Chaz Lamar was a great singer, actor, and dancer. I remember him in the film "Set It Off" and didn't even imagine he could do something like this. One major thing I didn't like was "Listen". As you know this song is originally suppose to be for Deena but in the play it is made a duet with Effie and the lyrics have been changed completely. Even though it is a nice duet, I feel it takes away from Deena's time to shine on her own and have her independance from Curtis and is forced to share it with Effie who overpowers her through the song. Alot of people think they're about to start jamming to the original and shut up because they don't know the words lol. Overall this is a great play and is a must-see! Its in Chicago until the 31st of this month and will continue until the summer ending at the Apollo Theater.
Overall: 5/5 stars!
*Bonus: If you haven't read my interview with Syesha click here*

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