CRITICS ARE RAVING!

"DREAMGIRLS is exceptional...an experience that is not to be missed."

- Broadway World
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"DREAMGIRLS stuns with a gritty, glitzy, R&B soundtrack"

- The Salt Lake Tribune
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"Sensational"

- The Modesto Bee
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"This production packs a serious punch"

- Arizona Republic
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About The Show

CATCH THE DREAM!  Full of onstage joy and backstage drama, the sensational new production of DREAMGIRLS tells the story of an up-and-coming 1960s girl singing group, and the triumphs and tribulations that come with fame and fortune. With music by Academy Award nominee Henry Krieger and book and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award winner Tom Eyen, DREAMGIRLS features the unforgettable hits: "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," "One Night Only" and "Listen."  This Tony and Academy Award winning musical sparkles like never before!

 

 

Creative & Cast

Robert Longbottom (Director/Choreographer) made his Broadway debut as director/choreographer on Side Show, which earned four Tony Award nominations including Best Musical.
Other theatrical highlights include the Broadway revival of Bye Bye Birdie for the Roundabout Theater Company at the new Henry Miller Theater; the Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song (Tony, Astaire & Outer Critics Circle nomination); The Scarlet Pimpernel; the Off-Broadway hit Pageant; Disney's On The Record and The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.

At the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., he directed the wartime classic Mister Roberts and directed and choreographed the musical Carnival. Robert also directed Hay Fever for the Old Globe Theater.

Robin Wagner (Set Designer) is the Scenic Designer of over 50 critically acclaimed Broadway shows. Among the most notable are the original productions of the Producers, Angels in America, City of Angels, Young Frankenstein, Jelly’s Last Jam, Crazy for You, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Chess, 42nd Street, Dreamgirls, On the Twentieth Century, A Chorus Line, Jesus Christ Superstar, Promises, Promises, Lenny, The Great White Hope, and Hair. He recently designed the revivals of A Chorus Line and Dreamgirls, which are now on tour around the world. His work has included productions for opera, film, dance and rock and roll, including the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, the Swedish Royal Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Vienna State Opera, and the Royal Opera at Covent Garden. He is the recipient of 3 Tony Awards for On The Twentieth Century, City of Angels and The Producers and has been nominated for 7 others. His other honors include 6 Drama Desk Awards, multiple Outer Critics Circle Awards, Canada’s Dora Award, the Maharam Award, the Lumen Award for the Rolling Stones’ Tour of the Americas and numerous others. Mr. Wagner is a trustee of the Joseph Papp Public Theater and has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

William Ivey Long (Original Costume Designs) is a native North Carolinian with deep theatrical roots. Both of his parents were theatre educators, and he spent his childhood summers in Manteo, North Carolina, where his family worked at Paul Green’s outdoor drama, THE LOST COLONY. William made his first costume at the age of 5, which was an Elizabethan Ruff for his dog. Each summer he returns to Manteo, where he has served as Production Designer since 1988. Summer 2012 marked his 42nd season with the production. William received a BA in history from The College of William and Mary, was a Kress Fellow in Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then received an MFA in stage design from Yale University School of Drama. The Broadway production DON'T DRESS FOR DINNER marked William's 63rd Broadway costume design. In addition, he has CHICAGO running on Broadway, now its 16th year, and North American tours of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN and CHICAGO. Other Broadway credits include LEAP OF FAITH; HUGH JACKMAN: BACK ON BROADWAY; CATCH ME IF YOU CAN; 9 TO 5; PAL JOEY; YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN; GREY GARDENS (Tony Award); SWEET CHARITY; LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (Hewes Award); THE FROGS; THE BOY FROM OZ; John Water’s HAIRSPRAY (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards); THE PRODUCERS (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards); THE MUSIC MAN; SWING (Hewes Award); CONTACT (Hewes Award); CABARET; STEEL PIER; SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ; Madison Square Garden’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL; GUYS AND DOLLS (Drama Desk Award); CRAZY FOR YOU (Tony, Outer Critics Circle Awards); SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION; ASSASSINS; LEND ME A TENOR (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards); NINE (Tony, Drama Desk, Maharam Awards).

William has twelve Tony Award nominations for his work, and has won five times. He has received The North Carolina Award for Fine Arts (November 2004), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Legend of Fashion Award (2003), and is a member of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. He holds honorary degrees from The College of William and Mary, The University of North Carolina at Asheville, and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. William is also president of the Eastern Seaboard Trust, a 501 C-3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the economic revitalization and historic preservation of his hometown of Seaboard, North Carolina. He was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2005 and was recently elected Chair of the American Theatre Wing.

Ken Billington (Lighting Designer) has 97 Broadway shows to his credit including such theatre milestones a Sweeney Todd and the current productions of Chicago. Many touring productions over the years including Chicago (Worldwide), Riverdance (lighting supervisor) Fiddler on the Roof (from 1976 till the present) Annie for almost as long, the seasonal White Christmas as well as 9 to 5, High School Musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, Doctor Doolittle to name a few. Other projects include Hugh Jackman in Concert, the Las Vegas spectacular Jubliee!, for Seaworld Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio Shamu One Ocean and Shamu Rocks and from 1979 to 2006 the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and. Ken's many awards include the Tony, NY Drama Desk, Outer Critics Awards as well as the Ace award for Television lighting the Lumen for his architectural work.

Howard Werner (Media Designer) is a BFA graduate of the University of Illinois, and a product of the burgeoning theatre movement of the1980’s, Howard Werner has developed from a young Chicago lighting designer into a multi-talented, many-faceted lighting, projection and multimedia design leader. Often found at the apex of the Broadway design world, he is just as likely to be found ground level - lighting a plaza, illuminating a historic building, or exercising his genius for exhibit design. His award winning work spans theatre, architecture and event categories. Recent Broadway projects include: Spider Man: Turn off the Dark,  Bye Bye Birdie,  Lysistrata Jones, The Pirate Queen and Lestat. Howard greatly enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with others, and his teaching ventures have included several ‘Broadway Master Classes’, as well as presentations at USITT and at University of Illinois. Howard is a Principal of Lightswitch,  a design consortium with offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Orlando, Chicago and Hong Kong. www.lightswitch.net 

Cherie Rosen (Music Supervisor) is pleased to be involved with another Big League tour after last season's loverly My Fair Lady. Cherie's current musical home is in the jungle pit at the Minskoff Theater in NYC where she is the Associate Conductor for the Broadway production of The Lion King. Her other Broadway conducting credits include Man of La Mancha (starring Brian Stokes Mitchell),The King and I,  Jekyll and Hyde and Annie Get Your Gun.
Cherie’s musical career has taken her from Anchorage, Alaska to Palermo, Italy conducting and/or playing the
piano and guitar for numerous touring musicals such as West Side Story, The Who’s Tommy, A Chorus Line, Man of La Mancha, Forty Second Street and many more. Cherie has conducted orchestras behind Brian Stokes Mitchell, Raul Julia, Bernadette Peters, Marie Osmond, Faith Prince and Lou Diamond Phillips. She has also served as an
accompanist for Donna Murphy, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Tae Won Kim among others.  She makes her home in New York City with her  husband and two sons.

Mike Bauder (Production Manager) formed MB Productions in the fall of 2005, MB Productions was the creation of Production Manager, Mike Bauder, after spending nearly 20 years in a variety of roles within the industry. MB Productions has managed projects both domestically and abroad including the United States, United Kingdom, Southeast Asia (China, Singapore, Korea), and India and has worked with leading designers and creative talent from across the globe. Recent projects include SPIDER-MAN – TURN OFF THE DARK (Broadway), YO GABBA GABBA LIVE: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY (National Tour), CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG! (First National) and the Universal Studios Hollywood Attraction CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. MB Productions is comprised of Production Managers Mike Bauder and Sonya Duveneck and can be found online at www.mbproductions.com.

Big League Productions/Daniel Sher (Executive Producer) Led by Daniel Sher as owner and Executive Producer, Big League is celebrating its 24th season of producing, general managing and booking Broadway musicals and special attractions for touring throughout North America. Big League collaborated with Disney Theatricals in creating its new production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida which toured in North America, China and Taiwan. Among Big League’s other highlights was a new touring production of Miss Saigon developed in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh, which toured the U.S. and Canada for four years. Other noteworthy productions were the Japanese and North American touring productions of 42nd Street with the creative team from the Tony Award®-winning Broadway revival as well as a three-year tour of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man as newly conceived by Susan Stroman. Others have included Footloose (Las Vegas, Atlantic City, North American tour), tours of Titanic, 1776, Peter Pan, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum starring Rip Taylor and the unique spectacular Blast! Big League’s renowned production of The Who’s Tommy has been seen throughout North America, South America, and Europe, and most recently in Tokyo. In recent seasons, Big League produced Guys & Dolls, My Fair Lady, the 30th Anniversary national tour of the Tony Award®-winning musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ starring “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard and the first national tour of the technically dynamic show, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The booking department at Big League, helmed by Vice President John Starr, is among the most respected in the industry. Current productions include the dance show Groovaloo which is return- ing to Off-Broadway in 2013, Dreamgirls, Hair,and 2 tours of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! which the company is proud to be ex-ecutive producing.

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M.C.................................................................................................................................................A.J. Davis
Stepp Sister......................................................................................................................Ericka Covington
Stepp Sister.......................................................................................................... Renée Veronica Freeman
Stepp Sister........................................................................................................................Sholanty Taylor
Stepp Sister...................................................................................................................Gia Sharee McGlone
Marty..................................................................................................................................... Kolby Kindle
Joann .........................................................................................................................................Keisha Gilles
Charlene............................................................................................................................Tonyia Myrie Rue
Curtis Taylor, Jr..........................................................................................................................Aubrey Poo
Deena Jones...................................................................................................................Jasmin Richardson
Lorrell Robinson..........................................................................................................................Mary Searcy
C.C. White.......................................................................................................................Terrance Johnson
Effie Melody White...........................................................................................................Charity Dawson
Little Albert.........................................................................................................................Walter Kemp II
Tru-Tone...................................................................................................................................Steven Charles
Tru-Tone.............................................................................................................................Cameron J. Ross
Tru-Tone.......................................................................................................................................Justin Sams
Tru-Tone................................................................................................................................Eric R. Williams
James “Thunder” Early............................................................................................................Michael Jahlil
Tiny Joe Dixon....................................................................................................................JoNathan Michael
Wayne..................................................................................................................................Cameron J. Ross
Frank...............................................................................................................................Deonté L. Warren
Dwight.........................................................................................................................................Justin Sams
Stage Manager.......................................................................................................................Eric R. Williams
Michelle Morris...................................................................................................Kimberly Michelle Thomas
Jerry...............................................................................................................................................A.J. Davis
Mr. Morgan........................................................................................................................ JoNathan Michael
Effie Melody White (Alternate) ..................................................................................................Lydia Warr

 

Tour Schedule

Dates

Tickets / Venue

City

State

12/26/12-1/1/13 The Capitol Theatre Yakima WA
1/4/13-1/6/13 Pioneer Center Reno NV
1/8/13-1/9/13 Saroyan Theatre Fresno CA
1/10/13 Fox Performing Arts Center Riverside CA
1/11/13-1/13/13 Gallo Center for the Arts Modesto CA
1/15/13-1/20/13 Kavli Theatre Thousand Oaks CA
1/22/13-1/23/13 Mesa Arts Center Mesa AZ
1/24/13-1/27/13 Orpheum Theatre Phoenix AZ
1/29/13-1/30/13 Granada Theatre Santa Barbara CA
2/1/13-2/3/13 McCallum Theatre Palm Desert CA
2/5/13-2/10/13        Capitol Theatre Salt Lake City UT
2/12/13-2/13/13 Pikes Peak Center Colorado Springs CO
2/14/13-2/17/13 Popejoy Hall Albuquerque NM
2/26/13-3/3/13     The Alaska Performing Arts Center Anchorage AK
3/12/2013 Orpheum Theatre Sioux City SD
3/13/2013 Stephens Auditorium Ames IA
3/14/2013 Rialto Square Theatre Joliet IL
3/15/2013 Coronado Theatre Rockford IL
3/16/2013 Gallagher Bluedorn PAC Cedar Falls IA
3/17/2013 Champaign Assembly Hall Champaign IL
3/18/2013 Leach Theatre Rolla MO
3/19/13-3/21/13 Century II Wichita KS
3/23/13-3/24/13 Carson Four Rivers Center Paducah KY
3/25/2013 Bartlesville Comm. Ctr. Bartlesville OK
3/26/2013 Cowan Auditorium Tyler TX
3/27/2013 Heymann PAC Lafayette LA
3/28/2013 Strand Theatre Shreveport LA
3/29/2013 Frances Ann Lutcher Th. Orange TX
3/30/2013 Baton Rouge Centroplex Baton Rouge  LA
4/2/13-4/7/13       Dupont Theatre Wilmington DE
4/9/13-4/10/13        E.J. Thomas Hall Akron OH
4/11/13                Roanoke Civic Center Roanoke VA
4/12/13-4/13/13 Koger Center Columbia SC
4/14/13 The Classic Center Athens GA
4/16/13-4/17/13 The River Center Columbus GA
4/18/13 Southern KY PAC Bowling Green KY
4/19/13-4/21/13 Opera House Lexington KY
4/23/13-4/24/13 IU Auditorium Bloomington IN
4/25/13-4/28/13    Stranahan Theatre Toledo OH
4/29/13 Saginaw Civic Center Saginaw MI
4/30/13-5/1/13 John Labatt Center London ON
5/3/13 State Theatre Easton PA
5/4/13-5/5/13 The Lyric Theatre Baltimore MD
5/7/13             Creative Arts Center Morgantown WV
5/8/13 Pullo Center York PA
5/9/13                        Community Arts Center Williamsport PA
5/10/13-5/12/13        Scranton Cultural Center Scranton PA
5/13/13 The Flynn Theatre Burlington VT
5/14/13-5/15/13       Clemens PAC Elmira NY
5/16/13 Sovereign PAC Reading PA
5/17/13-5/18/13 Ferguson Center for Arts Newport News VA
5/20/13                  Peabody Auditorium Daytona Beach FL
5/21/13             Times Union PAC Jacksonville FL
5/22/13            Naples Philharmonic Center Naples FL
5/23/13 King Center Melbourne FL
5/25/13        The Davis Theatre Montgomery AL
5/28/13 Bell Auditorium Augusta GA
5/29/13 Greensboro Coliseum Greensboro NC
5/30/13 Wicomico Civic Center Salisbury CT
5/31/13-6/1/13 Palace Theater Waterbury CT
6/2/13           The Forum Binghamton NY
6/4/13-6/9/13 The Schuster Theatre Dayton OH
 
 

Press

By Kerry Lengel The Republic | azcentral.com Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:01 PM

Vocal pyrotechnics are the big draw in “Dreamgirls,” the 1981 Broadway musical inspired by the rise and the rivalries of the Motown girl group the Supremes. And there are plenty of fireworks in the current touring revival, thanks to a roof-raising cast led by Charity Dawson as Effie Melody White, the plus-size diva pushed aside in favor of slender beauty Deena Jones — stand-in for the real-life Diana Ross.

But there’s more than immediately meets the ear in “Dreamgirls.” Sure, it’s packed with soulful songs and oh-no-you-didn’t sass, but the familiar “Behind the Music” plot comes with a complex subtext involving race, sex and power. More than just an homage to one pioneering R&B outfit, it’s a portrait of the byzantine music biz during a crucial time of change, when African-American artists, once confined to the pop-culture ghetto of “race music,” fought their way into the mainstream.

The story begins in 1962 at New York’s famed Apollo Theater, where a Chicago trio called the Dreamettes is hoping for a big break on amateur night. They don’t win the contest, but they do find a manager, smooth-talking used-car salesman Curtis Taylor Jr. and book a gig as backup singers to the flamboyant James “Thunder” Early.

Curtis proves a savvy hustler, responding to an early setback — when a White vocal group steals a potential hit song — by fighting payola with payola. But while he sends Early up the charts, followed by the renamed Dreams, it soon becomes clear that priority one, both in business and in his romances with Effie and Deena, is himself.

Dawson — who performed in the national tour of “The Color Purple” and was in the Valley five years ago to star in Black Theatre Troupe’s “Smokey Joe’s Café” — is dynamite as Effie, belting out the showstopper “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” with earth-shaking power. But Jasmin Richardson more than holds her own as Deena, and Michael Jahlil is just as dynamic as Early. Even though his character is partly inspired by James Brown, in “The Rap” (which is more of a proto-rap) he sounds kind of like Chris Rock doing a Michael Jackson impersonation, but somehow it works fantastically.

The production values are also top notch, with period costumes that range from sexpot to preposterous. The scenic design, which consists almost entirely of tall moving panels of LED lights, is a virtual clinic in how to use digital imagery effectively, producing wow moments when required and fading into the subconscious when not.

The best number in the show, marking Curtis’ dubious commitment to payola, is “Steppin’ to the Bad Side,” a masterpiece of back-lit voguing that might bring to mind — of all things — “My Fair Lady’s” iconic dance “Ascot Gavotte.” And the lighting design, something audiences generally are not supposed to notice, is so eye-popping that when a singer poses in freeze-frame, it’s not just iconic, it’s the Platonic ideal of a spotlight moment.

Now, don’t get too excited. “Dreamgirls” is not quite a classic. There are some wimpy melodies, and the storyline is just a wee bit predictable. But for pure entertainment value and even a bit of social relevance, this production packs a serious punch.

Reach the reviewer at kerry.lengel@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-4896. Follow him at twitter.com/KerryLengel or facebook.com/LengelOnTheater.

 

 

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