DREAMGIRLS - 6

Brittney Johnson, Moya Angela, Jasmin Richardson and Danielle Truitt star in the LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS & McCOY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT production of “DREAMGIRLS” – Directed and Choreographed by Robert Longbottom. PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Lamont

*One of the most loved musicals in the history of live theater is “Dreamgirls.” The story of a girl group fashioned in the  mold of iconic R&B groups like, The Supremes,” (before and after Diana Ross became the centerpiece in and of the group; and solo acts the likes of the legendary ‘Godfather of Soul’ James Brown and Jackie Wilson. The musical has now made its way to the beautiful Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) in Northridge, California, to a packed opening night house.

Dreamgirls, which will only be at VPAC through Sunday, May 8, has had its run of productions all around the globe since its Broadway  debut in 1983. The VPAC production boasts talents from an energetic cast, an exceptional crew and some impeccable staging.

So much so, that there are times when all the seamless moving parts and exceptional use of imagery will make you forget that you are sitting in a theater watching a live production, and not in one watching a film. Such is the effortless flow here, enhanced by the ease with which the scenery and lighting intersperse and change.

Pure magic.

Musically, the production pretty much follows the film version; and we get to hear recreations of the musicals’ highly-anticipated songs such as “Listen,” “When I First Saw You,” “One Night Only,” and of course, the biggest song in the production, “And I Am Telling You, I’m Not Going).”

But you will notice major differences in the actual musical versus the film. And with that said, your mind may drift to the over-the-top astounding performance by Jamie Foxx as “Curtis Taylor, Jr.” when he sang “When I First Saw You” to Beyonce’s “Deena Jones” in the film version of Dreamgirls, as you listen to the interpretation of the song by Scott A. People, which quite honestly, pales greatly in comparison, and even as a stand alone is lackluster.

Review continues at EURThisNthat.