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“Dreamgirls” tour positively electric (Detroit) December 23, 2010

Posted by ronannarbor in Broadway Musicals, Broadway Tour, musical theater.

Get tickets, go, don’t hesitate for a moment. The current Broadway Tour that has landed at the Fox Theater in Detroit is positively electric. From the cast to the set, lighting, and orchestra it is just a high-energy evening of musical theater not to be missed.

This Dreamgirls is more than just a revival…it’s a complete re-imagining of the show. It moves at lightning pace, and Robin Wagner’s video wall sets have a life all their own. The production includes songs written for the movie, and they feel natural on stage. There are subtle revisions throughout the show, but not to worry: all the big moments are there, and “I’m telling you I’m not going” raises the electricity level to fever-pitch.

Moya Angela creates a tough Effie, but also delivers the goods when it comes to more tender emotion (something Jennifer Holiday could not). Syesha Mercado is a terrific Deena and Nikki Kimbrough a sure-voiced Loretta. The men are equally strong in this production, and Chester Gregory is the standout here, as James Thunder Early. He not only sings and wisecracks, but is an excellent dancer in his own right.

I have fond memories of seeing the original Dreamgirls on Broadway in 1982 as well as the revival. Those hold a cherished place in my musical theater heart…but this new version is an entirely different beast…and I loved it.

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