"Dreamgirls" is a unique, dinamic, dazzling and glamorous musical.
This American story, with a strong and emotionally intense storyline, is about ambition and greed, change and rights, deceit, and finally personal triumph over adversity and heartbreak, and it is told by a cast of extremely talented South African performers and musicians.
A female soul group begins their musical journey at the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem and then attains the height of success. As often happens, there is the in-fighting between members and the eventual breakaway of one character, Effie White (Lindiwe Bungane), who then has to fight her own personal battle to retain her dignity and self-respect.
There are so many good songs - 30 high-powered items, and each of the male leads, Aubrey Poo, Bjorn Blignaut, Shane 'Duke' Wellington, Lebo Toko and Mortimer Williams has their chance to shine.
Zambian-born Lindiwe Bungane (in the role of Effie White, the big girl of the trio) has an amazing big voice.
The alternate Effie White is Caroline Borole.
The glamorous Candida Mosoma, Tracey-Lee Oliver and Hayley Christian, as the Dreams, sparkle every time they are on stage, wearing the most amazing range of exquisite costumes.
An outstanding number is 'Listen' when the attractive and ambitious Deena Jones (Tracey-Lee Oliver), and the plump Effie White (Lindiwe Bungane) confront each other in a battle of vocal intensity. This song is all about dreaming and finding your place in the world.
Throughout Robert Longbottom’s choreography is stylish and slick and effects are stunning.
The costumes are so beautiful!! There are many extremely swift costume changes and as the show progresses the costumes become more glittery and more glamorous, showing how the girls progress from young hopefuls into superstars. The lighting effects are fabulous too, and every audience member talks about the way Effie pulls off a costume change, on stage, without anybody noticing.
The use of technology and ligthing effects is extremely creative. The stage set consists of a wall of shimmering screens, onto which images are projected. These screens also split, taking the audience into two worlds simultaneously - the on-stage events as well as the backstage drama.
The singers are accompanied by a live band with a line-up of trumpeters and trombones. The songs have clever lyrics that carry the story forwards and explain the background.
Dreamgirls is bold, beautiful and brilliant. The presentation is absolutely perfect.
Dreamgirls runs at:
Montecasino until May 22 and at
Cape Town’s Artscape Opera House from June 8 to July 24.
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