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"Dreamgirls" musical at Stagecrafters

Posted: 2:13 PM, Jun 03, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-03 14:13:02-04

Dreamgirls the musical opens tonight (June 3) at Stagecrafters in Royal Oak. The show runs through June 26th. It's loosely based on the rags-to-riches career of Detroit's legendary singer Diana Ross and her famous group The Supremes.

“It was like watching a concert and a musical all in one,” says director Jerry Haines of Berkley recounting the first time he saw the musical Dreamgirls on Broadway.

Haines says Dreamgirls is a "fast paced" show that never stops.  It follows a girl group’s glamorous and tumultuous rise to fame through the 1960s and 70s. Stagecrafters says the show relies on musical performances, rather than dialogue to tell the story.

“When it premiered in 1981, its structure was non-traditional," says Haines. "Today, you see more and more musicals that follow a similar structure. That is, the dialogue is there, it's just mostly sung,” Haines says, referencing Rent and In the Heights.

Dreamgirls, book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Henry Krieger, features show-stopping songs, including "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" and "One Night Only." The show opened Dec. 20, 1981, at the Imperial Theatre and ran for 1521 performances to close Aug. 11, 1985, and was nominated for thirteen 1982 Tony Awards and won six. A 2006 movie features Beyoncé Knowles as Deena, Jennifer Hudson as Effie, Eddie Murphy as James, Danny Glover as Marty, and Jamie Foxx as Curtis.

The story begins with a signing group, The Dreamettes, made up of three best friends: Effie White (Tan Mason of Detroit), the soulful front woman, Lorrell Robinson (Arielle Crosby of Detroit), and Deena Jones (Terri Manning of Bloomfield Hills), as they perform songs written by Effie’s brother, C.C. White (Brandon Love of Detroit).

A slick manager, Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Kenyada Davis of Detroit), gives the Dreamettes their big break on tour as backup singers for the charismatic James “Thunder” Early (Dyrel Johnson of Redford).  He later sends them out on their own, renaming them “The Dreams,” evolving their R& B sound into a more mainstream pop, and unseating the full-figured Effie as lead singer in favor of the attractive Deena.

Effie’s budding offstage romance with Curtis is complicated by the changes and the suspicion that Curtis is having an affair with Deena.  As Effie becomes temperamental and unreliable, Michelle Morris (Stacey Barrett of Detroit) is brought in to replace her.  As Curtis abandons Effie as a singer and his love interest, she makes an impassioned final plea only for it to fall on deaf ears.

As the show propels into the 1970s, Effie struggles as a single mother to Curtis’ child but is too proud to reach out to the unaware father.  Down and out, with the help of an old friend, Marty (Jeffrey Nelson of Farmington Hills), Effie works to redeem her life and career.

Meanwhile, Deena and Curtis have become an entertainment power couple as she flourishes as a performer with him pulling the strings behind the scenes.  But Curtis has a controlling and manipulative side that drives everyone in his inner circle – and ultimately Deena – away. As Curtis tightens his grip, his empire begins to crumble.  With The Dreams’ run at an end, they appear together, reunited with Effie, for one final triumphant performance.

Patrons attending the June 3rd opening night performance are invited to participate in the complimentary pre-glow of hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Café Muse of Royal Oak. The pre-glow runs from 7:00 to 7:45 pm.

Show tickets are $22 on Thursdays, $24 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tickets may be purchased online at www.stagecrafters.org (online handling fees apply) or by phone at 248-541-6430 using Visa or MasterCard. All seats are reserved and there are no refunds or exchanges on individual tickets.  If shows have not sold out, tickets can be purchased at the box office one hour prior to the performance. Student, military and senior discounts are available for specific performances.  The Baldwin Theatre is located at 415 S. Lafayette in downtown Royal Oak. Dreamgirls is rated PG-13 for adult language and content.

 

Show dates and times are as follows:

Friday, June 3 at 8 pm

Saturday, June 4 at 8 pm

Sunday, June 5 at 2 pm

Thursday, June 9 at 8 pm

Friday, June 10 at 8 pm

Saturday, June 11 at 8 pm

Sunday, June 12 at 2 pm

Thursday, June 16 at 8 pm

Friday, June 17 at 8 pm

Saturday, June 18 at 8 pm

Sunday, June 19 at 2 pm

Friday, June 24 at 8 pm

Saturday, June 25 at 8 pm

Sunday, June 26 at 2 pm

 

Cast and Crew List by Community:

Director/Choreographer            Jerry Haines                     Berkley

Set Design                                 Dan Rose                          Berkley

Co-Producer                              Don Gerstler                     Birmingham

Deena Jones                             Terri Manning                   Bloomfield Hills

Tech Director                            Becca Wisnewski             Clarkston

Prop Design                               Donna Edwards                Clawson

Frank/Ensemble                        Juriel Anton’e                    Detroit

Michelle Morris                          Stacey Barrrett                 Detroit

Lorrell Robinson                        Arielle Crosby                   Detroit

Curtis Taylor Jr.                         Kenyada Davis                 Detroit

Dave/Ensemble                         Kevin Kaminski                 Detroit

C.C. White                                 Brandon Love                   Detroit

Ensemble                                  Ryan Martin                      Detroit

Effie White                                 Tan Mason                        Detroit

Ensemble                                  Aria Moody                       Detroit

Ensemble                                  Michael Rice                     Detroit

Ensemble                                  LaNyck Washington         Detroit

Ensemble                                  Jessica Williams               Detroit

Marty                                         Jeffrey Nelson                  Farmington Hills

Ensemble                                  Ami McClenon                  Fraser

Master Carpenter                      Jerry Gershune                Huntington Woods

Ensemble                                  Ariel Rush                         Macomb

Ensemble                                  Jerrrell Lomax                  Oak Park

Wig & Makeup Design              Buddy VanLoon                Oak Park

Co-Producer                              Amy Wilson                      Oak Park

James Thunder Early                Dyrel Johnson                  Redford

Ensemble                                  Crystal Foster                   Royal Oak

Sweetheart/Ensemble               Colleen Genette                Royal Oak

Music Director                           Julie Malloy                       Royal Oak

Sweetheart/Ensemble               Sara Rydzewski               Royal Oak

Costume Design                        Dolly Scheibelhut              Royal Oak

Stage Manager                          Theresa Williams              Royal Oak

Jerry/Ensemble                         Randy Wrisinger               Royal Oak

Sweetheart/Ensemble               Kristen Zublick                  Royal Oak

Co-Producer                              Linda Zublick                    Royal Oak

Sound Design                            Bob Minchella                   Sterling Heights

Lighting Design                          Matt Weber                       Walled Lake

Ensemble                                  Mark Hinton                      Warren

Ensemble                                  Nic Folson                         Wolverine Lake