And I am Telling You . . . and you better Listen!
| By Kay Johal
I’ve been tremendously looking forward to this show!
Dreamgirls opened some thirty-five years ago on Broadway. The film was released ten years ago. Its UK premiere is directed by Casey Nicholaw – of Aladdin and Book of Mormon, so there was no doubt that there would be some guts to this revival. Dreamgirls is currently showing at the Savoy on London’s Strand.
The obvious draw is casting the ferociously talented Amber Riley as Effie. Amber has talent by the bucket load. However, I have to applaud the quietly confident Karen Mav (alternate Effie). Her singing is as effortless as brushing her teeth. She took the character and played it sublimely. Joe Aaron Reid in the role of Curtis Taylor Junior exudes class in abundance, slickly and smoothly. It seemed to me that anyone would get lost in the expressive eyes that Mr Reid acts through. Liisi LaFontaine could certainly double as Beyonce in her role as Deena swiftly followed by Asmeret Ghebremichael bringing up the rear as Lorrell Robinson with perfect comedic timing.
The belters of the show are the same as the screen version. And I Am Telling You, Listen, and One Night Only are standout. I Am Changing has a certain vulnerability to it. The dance moves are executed with knife-edge precision and Adam J Bernard (Jimmy) certainly knows how to throw down a dance move or two. The costumes are second to none, actually making me wish I had been around in that era. Sparkly, shimmery and glorious to look at. Even the wigs tell their own tale. It is a visual spectacle and there is an air of expectation that is certainly lived up to. It is perfectly staged and there is a cohesive feeling of something special when the curtain rises. I am fortunate enough to be able to go and see a lot of shows and this is definitely one to catch.
I started this review by saying ...And I am Telling You... and I’ll end it by demanding that it be seen!
Dreamgirls tickets are available here!