Dreamgirls, currently playing at London's Savoy Theatre, is a flawed but feel-good musical. Against the backdrop of the turbulent 1960s music scene, the 'Dreams' embark on an ambitious journey to musical fame and discover that making great music is only step one. The result is a show which is fun, and full of great music.
Like most productions, Dreamgirls has flaws. Some strands of plot are left unresolved, and a few moments during the show teeter on the line between authentic and dated. My main criticism of Dreamgirls is that it's a lot of the same thing; the music is very powerful, but the impact of this is lost in some songs, where rushing from crescendo to crescendo begins to feel chaotic.
That said, the vocals in this show are undoubtedly impressive. Karen Mav (Effie) has a fantastically powerful voice. Brennyn Lark (Deena) and Tosh Wanogho-Maud (Jimmy) are equally superb, and listening to their songs feels like light relief after the more full-on numbers. I also thoroughly enjoyed Asmeret Ghebremichael's performance as Lorrell, a more understated character.
The atmosphere of Dreamgirls is great and fuelled by lots of well-placed humour. Visually, the costumes are absolutely en point, and staging and lighting bring everything together fantastically.
If you can look past the slightly chaotic feel of Dreamgirls, then you're left with a show which is both fun and impressive. Dreamgirls is an iconic musical, and those who enjoyed the 2006 film should not miss this chance to see the staged version.
Dreamgirls is booking at the Savoy Theatre until September 2018.
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