For more than one night only, Dreamgirls is in Milton Keynes as part of its first ever UK tour. This dazzling, multi award-winning musical is a fantastic, uplifting show featuring the classic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going’, ‘Listen’ and ‘One Night Only’. The show follows the lives of three talented young singers in the 1960’s. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit. Effie sings up front of the Dreams with her friends Lorrell and Deena singing back up. They try to win a singing competition but instead find themselves as three backing singers to Jimmy Early. Curtis pushes himself to manage them and suddenly they are touring all over the USA. Curtis wants to break the pop charts so he changes the line-up deciding to put Deena as lead which upsets Effie. Anyone finding a similarity in this story to the Motown legends, The Supremes, would not be wrong in that assumption.
Sharlene Hector stars as Effie White and what a star she is. Shar has a powerhouse of a voice; she makes singing look effortless. Shar oozes soul and could easily give Aretha Franklin a run for her money. Shar singing ‘And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going’ was so full of emotion, I just wanted to hug her. Local Milton Keynes actress Natalie Assange plays Deena which firstly makes me so proud that Milton Keynes has talent like this but secondly, Natalie deserves her place on that stage and would stand up in any west end musical. Natalie plays Deena as sweet and kind and almost as a victim in the situation. Completing the threesome is Paige Peddie as Lorrell. Paige develops Lorrell from a shy girl who is in awe of Jimmy, to a sassy woman who knows what she wants. Paige has a fabulous voice and you hear just how good when she tells Jimmy what she thinks of him and their relationship.
Christopher Gopaul plays Curtis Taylor Jr. He is smooth and cute and you can see how he makes his way in the business. However, Curtis is blind to anyone other than his ambition and this makes it hard to like this character. Christopher has a lovely voice and rises to the challenge of playing Curtis comfortably. Brandon Lee Sears plays Jimmy Early. Brandon takes a slice of James Brown, a touch of Little Richard and brings Jimmy to life as a very exciting and soulful performer.
With fabulous choreography, a full orchestra, memorable songs and a show worth its weight in gold, Dreamgirls has a cast bursting with talent and enthusiasm. What a show. What a cast. What a fantastic uplifting story of girl power before the term was even coined. This show will have you singing and dancing and even 24 hours later I am still humming Dreamgirls.
Dreamgirls is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Sat 5 Feb 2022.