Theatre Information

McCluer High School Dreamgirls

By • Mar 6th, 2012 • Category: Cappies, Missouri

One Night Only

The curtain closed as four–not three–Dreams were silhouetted, finally reunited. So ended McCluer’s production of Dreamgirls, a production detailing the lives of young hopefuls and their journeys to the top of the 1960′s and 70′s music industry.

Although it made its Broadway début in 1981, Dreamgirls is most widely known for the 2006 movie starring Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Hudson. With music by Henry Krieger and lyrics by Tom Eyen, the musical is based on lives of successful R & B acts such as the Supremes. The show is presented in two acts, and covers the years 1963 through 1978. It follows a trio of female singers as they work through the trials and tribulations of climbing to the top of the charts.

The enthusiasm of the entire ensemble shone through during musical numbers and kept the show moving.

As Effie White, Alexis Tucker was a vocal powerhouse. She perfectly embodied Effie’s struggle to go from lead to back-up as well as her feeling of desertion from friends and family, all the while beautifully belting out her songs. During songs like “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” and “I Am Changing,” Tucker’s voice perfectly exemplified that of the diva grappling to take back control of her life.

Melanie McCray (Deena) and Adrienne Thompson (Lorrell) dazzled as the Dreams, along with Jade Hillery (Michelle) later. DeAndre’a Fair (Jimmy Early) worked well with the audience and epitomized the funny character of Jimmy. The ensemble members were consistent in their energized performances. Also, the small ensembles, such as the Five Tuxedos or the Les Styles, added extra intensity to the production. Although some performers had trouble keeping their singing in tune, the cast overcame these moments through liveliness and bounce.

The simple lighting proved to be extremely effective. The stark contrast of the red background and silhouettes during “Steppin’ to the Bad Side” was impressive, as was the mastery of the spotlights as they zoomed in and held to faces during other songs. Colorful costumes accurately portrayed the time period. Also, the change in hairstyles between acts represented the changing times well.

With soulful R&B and an energetic cast, McCluer’s performance certainly was worth seeing, even if it was just “One Night Only.”

by Rose Marinaro of Notre Dame High School

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