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

She can be contacted at

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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 or at the HWCC box office at 888.506.7090. Visit for more information.


"My mom had this video tape of Kirk Franklin for his album called What You Looking For, and I remember as a shorty, I used to jump around and try to act like I was him," 24-year-old Chicago rapper Gerald Walker recalls as he talks about his musical beginnings.

Cheap Chicago Dates

Published in Lifestyle
Sunday, 08 January 2012 23:51

With the economy not looking its best and job security becoming less stable, it may be safe to say that "dating" has become a toilsome and infrequent task among young adults. And while we all surely appreciate being "wined and dined," sometimes dates can be too expensive for the struggling, part-time job working, full-time college going, student loan owing man. So, us ladies at GlossMagazineOnline have come up with a list of some of the best, cheap--and sometimes free--dates around town.

Replaying the Sound with The Sounds of Blackness

Published in Entertainment
Thursday, 08 September 2011 22:33

It’s a sound that’s almost indescribable. It fuses jazz, blues, gospel, hip hop and more, and it can only be described as “The Sounds of Blackness.” This musical ensemble is best known for its hits “Optimistic” and “Hold On (Change is Coming),” which earned them three Grammy awards and stellar chart success during the early 1990s.

Korin Black: Mentor by Day, Supermodel by Night

Published in Fashion & Beauty
Thursday, 08 September 2011 21:57

"Confidence is not one thing, it's everything." These are the six words model and mentor Korin Black seems to live and breathe by. Though she admits, this is one lesson she had to learn while trying to break into the modeling scene.

From a Dream to ‘Revelations'

Published in Entertainment
Sunday, 10 July 2011 03:17

When dancer Anthony Burrell first saw the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's timeless performance of Revelations at age 15, he knew for sure that dance was something he wanted to pursue as a career.