“Dreamgirls,” the new show at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining, is an entertaining musical about a trio of Motown-style singers, the Dreams, whose story bears a strong resemblance to the story of the Supremes.
The Alhambra’s production has an excellent cast with Melessie Clark, Mandi Jo John and Alexis Tidwell as the original members of the group, Peter M. Jackson as Curtis Taylor Jr., who becomes manager of the group, David Berry as James “Thunder” Early, the performer for whom the group initially works as backup singers, and Jereme Racket as C.C. White, who writes the group’s songs.
Just as Florence Ballard, who was the leader of the Supremes when they formed in 1959 and signed with Motown in 1961, eventually was replaced, Clark’s character, Effie White, starts as lead singer, gets pushed into a backup role, begins behaving disruptively and gets replaced.
Clark gets to perform the show’s big musical number, “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going,” at the end of Act One, after she’s been told she’s fired. That song helped win a Tony for Jennifer Holliday, the original Broadway Effie, and for Jennifer Hudson, who sang it in the 2006 movie.
Otherwise, the score, with music by Henry Krieger and lyrics by Tom Eyen, who also wrote the book, isn’t particularly memorable. But the story and the characters are.
Charlie Patton: (904) 359-4413