One Night Only Is All It Took

On Black Friday, I headed uptown to the world-famous Apollo theater with my Uncle who is up on and goes to see all the latest and greatest shows to hit Broadway.  My uncle got tickets as soon as they were announced and because he knows how much I love the story of Dreamgirls, he graciously took me with him as an early Christmas gift.  Thanks Uncle Boe!

I have been a fan of Dreamgirls ever since I heard the first notes of the soundtrack from the original broadway cast album. If you need further proof of my devotion, I own it on Cassette, two CD’s and it’s on my ipod–and that’s just the original!

I also have the Feature film version

as well as the 20th Anniversary live concert which had the distinction of being the first NYC performance post 9/11

Uncle Boe and I also were among the first in line to see the limited edition screening of Dreamgirls, the movie at the Ziegfeld in NYC where we were able to view costumes from the film and we received Certificates of Authenticity, numbered movie posters and beautiful full color movie programs.

So, yes…I’m a bit of a Dreamgirls superfan!

I was too young to ever see the original stage version of Dreamgirls and the movie was my first foray into putting song lyrics to scenes. However, I know that dramatic licence is often taken with film in order tell a more complete or dramatic story so I have always wanted to see a stage adaptation of my beloved Dreamgirls.

Back to Black Friday and the latest edition of Dreamgirls to hit the stage…  I loved it!!  This rendition is supported by a solid cast of performers who had me singing along in my seat!

There was however one actor in particular who stood way out from the rest and ran away with the whole show.

Chester Gregory as James “Thunder” Early was an absolute star.  Each time he took the stage whether or not he had uttered a line we were on the edge of our seats with anticipation that whatever was about to happen was going to be great.  Through his character Gregory pays homage to the greats of yesteryear including Jackie Wilson, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Little Richard and he adds a touch of Morris Day for good measure! LOVED. HIM.

The rest of the cast included American Idol, season seven, second runner-up Syesha Mercado who was superb as Deena Jones,

And Chaz Lamar Shepherd as Curtis. I’ve been a fan of his since the long ago Steve Harvey sitcom, “Me & the Boys” and it was a pleasure to see Chaz in a role where he could utilize his vocal abilities.

Rounding out the Dreams were Adrienne Warren as Lorrell (whose character was made famous by the legendary Loretta Devine.) Warren sings and does justice to my favorite song in the show “Ain’t No Party,” and newcomer to the NY stage Moya Angela as Miss Effie White

Moya did a great job singing “I’m not going” but she had me misty eyed with her version of “I Am Changing.”  It is not easy to step into the shoes of Jennifer Holiday or Jennifer Hudson but Moya holds her own nicely.

Dreamgirls is only playing at the Apollo until December 12th  and I urge you to see it if you haven’t already!  There are a few subtle changes to the story and some of the music is used in a refreshing new way.

I left the theater feeling energized and truth be told, I think I had a breakthrough while sitting in my seat. 

Many people don’t know this about me but I have a fear of the stage.  No, not stage fright but a fear of doing theater. 

Maybe it’s becasue I felt so comfortable in my second home at the Apollo (I worked there for many, many years doing production for It’s Showtime at The Apollo) or becasue of my familiarity with the story of Dreamgirls but when when the final curtain fell I felt ready to go for it.

My goal is to be a well rounded actor in film, television and stage. I’ve been studying film, television and commercial techniques recently but stage is my cryptonite (let’s just say I had a bad experience as a young actor which we won’t get into.)

I want to overcome it and this definitely gave me the push I needed to get out there and try do it.  I may even take some vocal lessons to see if I still have “it.” 

2010 here I come, wish me luck courage.



One Response to “One Night Only Is All It Took”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: