“Dreamgirls”, the new show from the Alhambra Theater & Dining, is an entertaining musical about a trio of Motown-style singers, the Dreams, whose story is very similar to the story of the Supremes.
The Alhambra production has an excellent cast with Melessie Clark, Mandi Jo John and Alexis Tidwell as original band members, Peter M. Jackson as Curtis Taylor Jr. who becomes band manager, David Berry as James “Thunder” Early , the performer for whom the band initially worked as backing vocals, and Jereme Racket as CC White, who wrote the band’s songs.
Just as Florence Ballard, who was the frontman of the Supremes when they formed in 1959 and signed with Motown in 1961, was eventually replaced, Clark’s character Effie White, starting out as lead singer, is pushed into a backup role, begins to behave in a disruptive manner and is replaced.
Clark gets to perform the show’s big musical number, “And I Tell You I’m Not Going,” at the end of the first act, after being told she was fired. This song earned a Tony for Jennifer Holliday, the original Broadway Effie, and for Jennifer Hudson, who sang it in the 2006 film.
Otherwise, the score, with music by Henry Krieger and lyrics by Tom Eyen, who also wrote the book, isn’t particularly memorable. But the story and the characters are.
Charlie Patton: (904) 359-4413