‘Dreamgirls’ Opens at the Marriott Theatre
DREAMGIRLS, the smash Broadway musical turned hit movie, opens August 29 and runs through November 4 at the Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. With music by Academy Award nominee Henry Krieger and lyrics and book by Tony and Grammy-winning Tom Eyen, DREAMGIRLS features the unforgettable hits “(And I Am Telling You) I’m Not Going”, “One Night Only” and “I Am Changing”.The musical opened on Broadway in 1981, running for 1,521 performances, and was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, winning six. At the helm of the Marriott Theatre production will be Multi Jeff Award-Winning Director and Choreographer Marc Robin.
DREAMGIRLS was adapted into a major motion picture by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, which opened in December 2006. The film, starring Jennifer Hudson (Big River at Marriott Theatre!) and Beyoncé Knowles, won two Academy Awards, five Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2007.
Full of onstage joy and backstage drama, DREAMGIRLS follows the rags to riches story of a young female 1960s Motown group from Chicago. Hopeful talents Deena Jones, Lorrell Robinson and Effie White are performing as The Dreamettes when ambitious agent Curtis Taylor, Jr. discovers them. He lands them a job as backup singers for the soul and rock ‘n’ roll sensation James “Thunder” Early and begins to guide their quickly rising career. However, when the beautiful Deena emerges as the star of the group rather than the full-voiced Effie, the girls are brought to a personal and professional crossroads. Effie must then find the strength within to rise again, just as Deena will later need to master all her fortitude to leave the controlling Curtis and pursue her dreams of acting. The heartbreaks of showbiz, love, and music all collide in this acclaimed musical that will sing and dance its way into your heart.
Raena White will star as “Effie” (Off-Broadway company of Sistas, Martin: A New American Musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Stages St. Louis and SHOUT! at the Marriott Theatre). Britney Coleman stars as “Deena” (Into The Woods at Center Stage/Westport Country Playhouse, Tarzan: The Broadway Musical at Wagon Wheel Theatre) with Rashidra Scott as “Lorrell” (Broadway productions of Sister Act, Finian’s Rainbow, Hair, Avenue Q) and Eleasha Gamble (2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role in The Civil War at Ford’s Theatre) as “Effie” at select performances. Eric LaJuan Summers stars as “James Thunder Early” (Broadway productions of The Little Mermaid, Aida, and The Wedding Singer; National Tour ofPorgy and Bess), Byron Glenn Willis as “Curtis Taylor, Jr.” (Once On This Island, Dreamgirls, Treasure Island at the Marriott Theatre; Porgy and Bess and Caroline, or Change at Court Theatre), Darilyn Burtley as “Michelle Morris”, Travis Turner as “C.C. White”, Trinity Murdock as “Marty”, Ivory Doublette as “Charlene”, and ensemble members Kevin Barthel, Brian Bohr, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, Malynda Hale, James Earl Jones II, Evan Tyrone Martin, Brian-Alwyn Newland, Alexis J. Rogers, Kelvin Roston Jr., Lorenzo Rush Jr. and Adrienne Walker.
Lead Artistic Director Aaron Thielen heads the Artistic Team of DREAMGIRLS, with Direction and Choreography by Marc Robin, Music Direction by Doug Peck, Lighting Design by Jesse Klug, Scenic Design by Thomas M. Ryan, Costume Design by Nancy Missimi, Sound Design by Robert E. Gilmartin and Properties Design by Sally Weiss. Patti Garwood conducts the Marriott Theatre Orchestra.
The performance schedule is Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Ticket prices range from $41 to $49, plus tax and handling fees. Seniors and students receive $5.00 off a full price theatre ticket on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings a limited number of Dinner and Theatre tickets are available for $55.00 per person plus handling fees. Dinner is at Kings Wharf Restaurant or the Fairfield Inn (based on dining availability). Free parking is available at all performances. To reserve tickets with a major credit card, call the Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or www.TicketMaster.com. Visit www.MarriottTheater.com for more information.
(Photos: Peter Coombs/Marriott Theatre)