Dreamgirls is on stage in Dallas until July 24 and it is not a show to miss! The Dallas Theater Center’s (DTC) production does not attempt to recreate the Beyonce movie version of the well-known story, but brings to life the ups and downs of the rise to the top, against a political and social backdrop of the era represented. The music and dancing is wonderful, but the audience will also find the story riveting and inspiring.
The performers certainly deliver, but this is one production where the skill and talents of the leadership backstage shines. Starting with DTC’s associate artistic director who helmed this production, Joel Ferrell. The music is never allowed to overwhelm the story, which can be a delicate balance in shows like Dreamgirls. Each component complimented the other. Thanks in large measure to the choreography of Rickey Tripp and music direction of Michael O. Also, Bob Lavallee’s set designs seamlessly changed to fit the moment and spirit of the scene.
Of course, without talented singers and dancers featured in a story so well-known, all of the work behind the scenes would not matter. DTC’s production does not disappoint, starting with Broadway veteran Marsha Wallace as Effie White. Wallace is an incredible singer and delights the audience, but she is also pivotal in showing that life is not all sunshine and roses for those who have “made it” and their sacrfices on the climb to the top. Her experience and talent shine through with her commanding her stage presence, leaving her the focal point even when she is not actually leading the scene.
Dallas theater fans will recognize Hassan El-Armin, who has shined throughout the year as DTC’s resident acting company member. While he may not be the star of the show, he closes his year with another solid performance. Dallas native, Kristen Bond portrays Dreamgirl Lorrell Robinson who exhibits great chemistry with Eric LaJuan Summers, the male lead of the show. His singing and dancing shined in his role as James “Thunder” Early.
Dreamgirls is at the Wyly Theatre until July 24, tickets and information are available at dallastheatercenter.org.