"An empowering story of sisterhood…….dreamy!"

Whether you’re familiar with the film version of Dreamgirls starring Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy, or whether you’ve seen the stage musical, then I think it’s pretty safe to say that you’ve enjoyed your experience.

Dreamgirls is the story of Effie White (Nicole Raquel Dennis) and her ambition to become part of the next big singing group.  She sings alongside good friends Deena Jones (Natalie Kassanga) and Lorrell Robinson (Paige Peddie) and under the management of Curtis Taylor Jr. (Matt Mills) they fulfil their dream of becoming the next big thing.  Curtis and Effie are a couple; however, Curtis’ affection turns to Deena, and he decides that she should take the lead in the group which results in Effie leaving under bad terms.

Nicole Raquel Dennis as Effie is every inch the powerhouse needed for this role. Every note sung to perfection and of course the “big” number ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, the closing song of Act 1 does not disappoint.  The standing ovation only added to the emotion of the number.  Dennis feels every single word, and this is displayed in abundance during their performance.

Natalie Kassanga as Deena provided a strong vocal performance with the standout number for me being ‘Listen’, a duet with Effie which certainly gave me goosebumps.  Paige Peddie as Lorrell Robinson provided some fabulous comical moments during her relationship with ladies’ man Jimmy Early (Brandon Lee Sears).  She also excelled in her vocal ability.  Sears was every inch the ‘James Brown’ type performer and his energy was infectious.  Another performer with incredible vocals……I think you can see a pattern here with the talent on stage!

The subject matter can be a little dark at times with Curtis becoming controlling over Deena and her career once they are married.  It is a delight and a joy however when she kicks him to the kerb and decides to take charge of her own life, many of the audience members agreed too during this scene! 

The set, designed by Tim Hatley is full of glitz and glamour featuring sequin encrusted back drops which when combined with the costumes worn by the ‘Dreams’ it really did give the impression of world class stardom.  The lighting by Hugh Vanstone also added to the experience with many spotlights and a very impressive section during ‘One Night Only’ where we were greeted with brightly coloured dominoes dancing along to the music.  Talking of music, under the Musical Direction of Simona Budd who welcomes us by standing aloft the pit playing a cow bell, really delivered on every level.  This show is full of music from start to finish and is practically a sung through musical, so the sound is paramount, and the talented group of musicians did a perfect job.

With a very talented ensemble providing some clean and fresh choreography by Casey Nicholaw, Dreamgirls is a very polished and professional show, backed up by some of the best vocal talent in any touring production I have seen of late. An empowering story of sisterhood…….dreamy!

You can see Dreamgirls at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham until the 31st December 2022.  Tickets are available here: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/dreamgirls/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham/

Photo credit: Matt Crockett

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details and accept the service to view the translations.