“Dreamgirls” takes their audience back to when Elvis and The Beatles were huge hits, but in the background, rhythm and blues were shaking up the musical scene.
“Dreamgirls” revolves around an all-girl group from Detroit Michigan, The Dreamettes, composed of full-figured lead singer Effie White alongside her best friends Deena Jones and Lorrell Robinson.
Dreamgirls is a musical drama written in 1981 by Tom Eyer and music by Henry Krieger.
The Dreamettes first got into the business when the trio lost an amateur talent show. Curtis Taylor Jr. convinced the Dreamettes to sing back up with the promise to become rising stars and break out of the shadows.
Curtis has the strong desire to make black singers a success and in order to live out his dream, he opens up his own record label, Rainbow Records and signs on the Dreamettes to headline his company.
Curtis feels as if Effie’s figure and voice will not be pleasing to the target audience so he changes the group up and makes Deena the lead singer and renames The Dreamettes to The Dreams.
Alongside the change in the group, Curtis also changes the trios music and look to appeal to a wider audience, leaving The Dreams with a glamorous new image.
Curtis and C.C. have completely transformed the Dreams into a top selling mainstream pop act by 1965.
But with the changes within the group, Effie was left feeling under-appreciated and she began to act out.
Effie began missing performances, had constant mood swings and was hard to work with. Curtis and Deena were convinced that Effie was trying to sabotage the group and the two made the decision to drop and replace her from The Dreams.
Eight years later, Rainbow Records moved to Los Angeles. The Dreams have become Deena Jones & the Dreams and Effie has become an impoverished single mother, living in Detroit with her daughter trying to break back into the musical scene.
Unlike Effie’s struggling return to her musical career, Deena wants to become an actress. Deena informs Curtis of her career plans but Curtis opposes them.
Deena is not the only one suffocating under Curtis’s overpowering control. C.C. is tired of the constant changes and rearrangements of his music to fit a certain sound.
C.C. quits from Rainbow Records and returns to Detroit to find Effie, who has been trying to rebuild her musical career with Marty, Jimmy’s former manager.
The two siblings reconciled and C.C. wrote and produced Effie’s comeback single.
As a result of Effie making it on her own and Deena’s plans of pursuing her movie career, Deena Jones & the Dreams give a farewell performance and invite Effie to join the group onstage to sing lead for the group’s final performance of the group’s signature song, “Dream Girls.”
One thing I must recognize are the costumes. The costumes were a beautiful and fit the era perfectly and complemented the curves of each actress.
The actors and actresses were incredibly talented but unfortunately you could point out moments where the nerves may have taken over. Nerves are completely normal but they did in fact affect their singing voices a little.
The worst part of the night had nothing to do with the actual production but with the seating. I understand that the production was put on at a dinner theatre, but the theatre has the option to have dinner and enjoy the show after, and the second option to solely enjoy the show.
I expected there to be separate seating for those watching the show only, I was wrong.
The entire theatre is composed of dinner tables and chairs.
Once the show started the seating stayed the same, which meant I had a good amount of blind spots, there were moments where I could not see any of the actors on the stage, which made it hard to enjoy the show.
Overall the acting and simple yet fulfilling and the set was enjoyable and the singing was great, minus the nerves.
I would definitely return to TIBBIES for another show, but perhaps arrive earlier to get the seats of my choice and maybe enjoy dinner before the show.