DreamGirls Chicago: Where Broadway Meets Bronzeville

Monday, 05 March 2012 05:07 Written by  Mariah Craddick

It was Jennifer Hudson's riveting performance as Effie White in the musical turned movie DreamGirls back in 2006 that won her an Academy Award and truly launched her career after losing American Idol, which painted her as one of the most talented vocalists of our generation. John Ruffin's production of the musical, DreamGirls Chicago, is currently playing at Chicago’s Harold Washington Cultural Center.

The talents of 19-year-old China Stewart joined the company of the legacy of great performances by Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Holiday. China stole the show on Friday's opening night with the spunk and tenacity that comes with a character like Effie, but truly blew everyone away with her voice. The audience held their breath as they waited to see if she could carry the infamous "And I'm Telling You" solo, one of the musical's signature and most difficult songs. The result was a theater full of people cheering on their feet as she hit every soaring note.

The entire cast left everyone on their feet with their high-energy dancing and outstanding voices. Like Hudson, Ta-Tynisa Wilson was also a contestant on American Idol and played the part of Lorrell Robinson. Singer Opal Staples Nesbitt played the role of Deena Jones, completing "The Dreams" trio.

Actors Mark Smith, Joshua Banks, KC Lee and Sean White played the roles of James "Thunder" Early, C.C., Curtis Taylor Jr. and Marty respectively. The tap company M.A.D.D. Rhythms also made a special appearance in the show, adding some diversity to the "Step into the Bad Side" and Act II opening numbers.

With the help of musical director Kendall Nesbitt, a full band and an incredible cast of young actors, dancers and singers. DreamGirls is phenomenal and a must-see show for all Chicago theater lovers. The musical will be playing every weekend through the month of March.

Tickets are available on www.ticketweb.com or at the HWCC box office at 888.506.7090. Visit www.johnruffin.com for more information.


Mariah Craddick

Mariah Craddick

Mariah Craddick hails from the city of Atlanta and is currently a junior studying in the magazine journalism program at Columbia College Chicago. In addition to contributing to GMO, she is also the President/Editor-in-Chief of HerCampus for Columbia College Chicago and is a "Style Guru" intern for CollegeFashionista.com.

She can be contacted at mariah.craddick@loop.colum.edu

Website: the-art-review.tumblr.com