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Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: Dreamgirls by Theatre Raleigh

This past Friday night, I saw Dreamgirls by the Theatre Raleigh group at Kennedy Theatre in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. I'm not crazy about the show itself (the character of Effie annoys me to no end), but this production absolutely blew me away! There were an incredible amount of lovely costumes for such a small theatre production and the choreography was fantastic. And with tickets costing only $28, I'm even considering going to see it again...

The Kennedy Theatre is a black box theatre in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. I was initially quite skeptical about how Dreamgirls could be pulled off in such a small space, but the stage itself is a decent size. I was lucky enough to get a seat in the fourth row, but any seat in the house would have a fantastic view. I used to love doing shows in our black box when I did theatre in high school because it's much more immersive for the audience (even if it is a bit scary for the actors to be able to see people's faces in the audience!).

Imagine my surprise when I opened the program (yes, I'm that person who has to read every single bio before the show starts) and found out that one of the leads goes to my university! Dorian McCorey, who plays Lorrell, is a rising senior at Elon University who I recognized from seeing in school productions. She was definitely one of the best actresses in the show and I'm so proud to see someone from Elon doing so well. See you on Broadway one day, Dorian?

The two other truly notable people in this fantastic cast were Brittany Walters, who plays Effie, and Christian Thompson, who plays Jimmy. The role of Effie is obviously a difficult one, only made more difficult by the fact that people are familiar with Jennifer Hudson playing her in the movie, but Brittany was incredible. Her vocals were stunning, but her acting was also perfect for the role. We were all very impressed by Christian who brought an incredible energy to the role of Jimmy, but also made him more sympathetic than I've seen in other productions.

Dreamgirls is running until July 26, so if you're in North Carolina I would definitely recommend going! (Don't forget to get there a bit early, as it's free seating.) xx

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