Reviewed by Amanda Dando
Wednesday 26th January 2022, Dreamgirls Milton Keynes Theatre. Who would say no when asked to review the show stopping musical sensation that is Dreamgirls? Not me, no sir! We arrived promptly, aware we had to show tickets on the door along with our COVID pass. I have to say each time we go to the Theatre it gets easier, staff are better at ensuring you have all the correct documentation to enter and it was a very short wait to enter the Theatre. Milton Keynes Theatre is surrounded by good restaurants and parking, arriving early has its benefits.
We were advised on arrival that there were some cast changes, Sharlene Hector stepping in for Nicole Dennis as Effie White and Christopher Gopaul for Dom Hartley Harris as Curtis Taylor Jnr.
Dreamgirls, if you haven’t seen the 2006 film with the much famed Jennifer Hudson playing Effie White and Beyoncé as Deena Jones, is set around a musical group in the 1960s and their search for fame. Some say a story based on Diana Ross and The Supremes.
As soon as the show opens you are drawn into the era, which happens to be a favourite of mine. The story starts with the ladies, Effie, Deena & Lorrell attending a talent show, where they meet not only Jimmy Early, played somewhat superbly by the handsome Brandon Lee Sears but Curtis Taylor jnr, played by Christopher Gopaul. These guys can sing, as could Shem Omari James who played CC White (Effie’s brother). They could also move, well certainly Jimmy could, and I am sure I wasn’t the only one hoping muchly he would actually drop his trousers instead of tease us and just give a glimpse of his underwear :). I won’t spoil the story, but as you can imagine there are always bumps along the way to happiness.
Divine is the only word for the end of act one, closing with And I am telling you I’m not going, Miss Sharlene Hector blew the audience away. The show then positively exploded back onto stage after the break, everyone’s performances were amazing. I absolutely adore musical theatre and in recent months can’t help but marvel at the performances these wonderful actors and actresses give up on stage. If you are struggling with your personal well-being get yourself along to a live show. Tonight I felt enveloped in a love I can’t describe, I felt as if was there with the cast on the stage living and feeling the music, it’s an experience really you can’t put a value on. Dreamgirls pretty much from the start is filled will glitter and glamour, the costumes are plentiful and fitting for the era along with super glamorous. The set is simple but a great backdrop to the singing and dancing. I loved the part in the first act where the shadows of the dancers played out large on the backdrop of the set.
Probably my favourite songs are One Night Only and Listen, if I had to choose! But mostly it’s the emotion portrayed by those wonderful actors and actresses that transport you if just for a few hours to the most wonderful place. Fantastic performances from everyone involved and an evening out that won’t disappoint from start to finish.
Tickets cost from £13 subject to a transaction fee of £3.65
Dreamgirls is at Milton Keynes Theatre 25 January to 2 February for more information or to book tickets visit atgtickets.com or call the box office on 020 7206 1174
Milton Keynes Theatre 500 Marlborough Gate, Central Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 3NZ