Dreamgirls by far has to be in my top 20 films of all time, So when I heard it was coming to the Savoy theatre in the West end here in my home city of London I knew I had to get my hands on a ticket. It has been a long time coming after it being over a decade from when the blockbuster movie adaptation was released based on the long running Broadway theatre show over in the states.
If you have never watched the film then I don’t know where you’ve been, but a quick update Dreamgirls is set in the 60’s and follows the lives of the fictional group The Dreams (or also known as the Dreamettes). It’s not set in stone, but we can all kind of figure it out the story is loosely based around Diana Ross and The Supremes. The story takes us through a journey of them growing from teenage girls chasing a dream, to global super stars.
I had purchased the tickets through lastminute.com which is a great website which you’re able to grab some amazing deals on, so if you haven’t used the website I would definitely recommend having a look. It is perfect to find things to do with your family, boyfriend or for a girl’s night out, Which is what I had planned for my best friend’s birthday and I wanted to do something extra special that I knew she would love. Like me I know she loves the film and not to mention has been the biggest Beyoncé fan since day 1 (who of course played Deena Jones in the 2007 film).
On the night that we went Amber Riley’s (the actress from Glee) stand-in was on so unfortunately we didn’t get to see her, but Marisha Wallace her stand in who if you haven’t heard of her you was in exactly the same boat as me, was absolutely amazing. We had seats in the upper circle, which now I know are not going to give you the best view in the house, especially as we were placed behind a safety bar, which gave a restricted view of the stage at times but this didn’t ruin the night.
As the show started and the curtain went up it was everything I had imagined. The stage was filled with an abundance of glitz and glamour, with stunning stage props and absolutely gorgeous costumes that every single diamante glistened in the bright stage lights. The first half of the performance ran through incredibly quickly, the deep story line and songs have you completely engrossed. I remember whispering over “Are they lip-syncing?” as I was in sheer amazement from the amount of power in there vocals with no effort at all, and this was just in the first 10 minutes. Number after number went by in the first half, with an abundance of costume changes (which some of them were unbelievable that it is possible for someone to change that quickly).
All of the cast I have to say played there characters amazingly, and worked in sync with each other. Marisha Wallace as Effie White was mind-blowing, as her voice is an absolute power house; she has a voice with the pitch similar to the great signers such as Etta James and Whitney Houston. She hit every note perfectly, with no effort needed at all. I felt honoured to hear her sing one of my favourite songs of all time and ‘And I am telling you, im not going’, since watching the film I have always adored the song so it was great to hear her do it justice. Adam J. Bernard (who was played by Eddie Murphy) plays Jimmy Early plays his character perfectly funny, amazing voice and impeccable dance moves. Effie and Deena beautiful duet of ‘Listen’ absolutely filled with passion and emotion, that I’m sure nearly brought on a few tears for many.
I have to give a mention to the costumes designed by the incredibly talented Gregg Barnes. Dresses I could probably only dream of wearing and even though set in the 60’s timeless enough to that anyone would love to wear such gorgeous dresses, filled with crystals rhinestones and feathers. The different costumes did their job taking us through the ever so changing styles at the time.
I would without a doubt recommend anyone to go as it was a great girl’s night out, and with Valentines day fast approaching it would be a night that will no doubt earn you brownie points.
Dreamgirls West end musical, Savoy theatre: