BWW Review: DREAMGIRLS at the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre

BWW Review: DREAMGIRLS at the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre

Opening their 41st season in tremendous style, the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at CM Performing Arts Center offers a superb production of the Tony winning musical Dreamgirls. Running through October 1st at the Oakdale venue, this incarnation boasts a stupendous cast who are absolute naturals in their respective roles. Excellently directed by CM Artistic Director Patrick Grossman (who also serves as Choreographer and Set Designer), the show is certainly a must see for the fall season.

This tale - created by Tom Eyen (Book & Lyrics) and Henry Krieger (Music) - is inspired by the megawatt success of such acts as The Supremes, The Shirelles, and others. For this story, we follow the "The Dreams" who become music superstars while coming across the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of the entertainment industry. Body image, ego, and a lot of backstabbing abound in this saga.

"The Dreams" are comprised of Laura Laureano portraying Deena Jones, Amanda Camille portraying Lorrell Robinson, and Crystal Fauntleroy portraying Effie Melody White. These women are true super talents and absolutely attack each number flawlessly. Highlights include the emotional "Hard To Say Goodbye, My Love", the show's title song, and Ms. Fauntleroy's showstopper of the iconic "And I'm Telling You, I'm Not Going".

Among the men, standouts include Kevin Knight in a return engagement to a CM production of Dreamgirls as manager Marty, CM vet Dondi Rollins, Jr. as crooner Jimmy Early (Jimmy's breakdown in Act II leaves the audience in absolute stiches), and a charming Londel Collier as Effie's brother C.C. The majority of this show is serious, dramatic moments, but the guys also deliver in making sure the audience laugh, too. They receive thunderous applause for their performance of "Cadillac Car".

Truly, in this busy production, the entire company is sensational as is the creative team. Mr. Grossman's clever set is top notch enhanced beautifully by Alison Weinberger's lighting design and Ronald Green III's gorgeous costumes (the gal's dresses are highlights). And special kudos also to resident Music Director Matthew W. Surico and the stellar live orchestra.

And so, The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre certainly has another hit with Dreamgirls. An outstanding cast and music from the 60's and 70's make for a thrilling night of theatre.

Dreamgirls is presented by the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at CM Performing Arts Center of Oakdale, Long Island, through October 1st. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 631-218-2810 or visit www.cmpac.com.

Book & Lyrics by Tom Eyen, Music by Henry Krieger, Direction, Choreography, and Set by Patrick Grossman, Assistant Director Sean Burbige, Musical Direction by Matthew W. Surico, Stage Management by TJ Smith, Costume Design by Ronald Green III, Lighting Design by Alison Weinberger, Sound Design by Nicollette Carosi,

Starring Kevin Knight as Marty, Rodney Jackson as Curtis Taylor Jr., Laura Laureano as Deena Jones, Amanda Camille as Lorrell Robinson, Crystal Fauntleroy as Effie Melody White, Londel Collier as C.C./Mr. Morgan, Dondi Rollins, Jr. as Jimmy Early, Steffy Jolin as Michelle Morris, Ava Adams as Charlene/Edna Burke, Selma Jaber as Joann, Seneca Bell as MC/Jerry Norman, Justin Steele as Tiny Joe Dixon/Wayne, Ashanti Graham as Little Albert, Robbie McGrath as Dave, Rebecca Vogel as Sweetheart 1/Stage Manager, Dana Abruzzo as Sweetheart 2, and Sean Burbige as Frank with Freddy Moise, Milan McGouldrick, Chante Hooks, Jahlil Burke, and Sheldon McCall


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