By Yensil Chung
The Dreamgirls story begins in 1962 during the height of the R&B golden age. It tells the story of a young African American female singing trio from Chicago and the struggles that come with its rise to fame after the group’s discovery at an amateur competition. Winning the contest lands the women jobs as backup singers for famous R&B singer James “Thunder” Early. Soon after their careers take off they experience the difficulties that come with having fame. The glitz and not-so-glam drama reveals the truth behind the curtain of the entertainment industry and show business. Music speaks throughout this show portraying the emotional turmoil of the cast, at times taking over dialogue in numbers such as, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” “I Want You Baby” and “One Night Only.” Though the 2006 film version received much praise (and a noteworthy Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in a Musical or Comedy), nothing beats this live hit musical which has won six Tony Awards since its debut in 1981. This musical is soulful with a cast of powerful voices and a live orchestra. Dreams do come true.
Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, (951) 779-9800; www.foxriversidelive.com. 7:30pm. $57-$67.