The first in this year's series from Doma, Dreamgirls, does not disappoint. Full of song, energy and fun, the play, which was first a smash Broadway musical and then an award winning motion pictures, captures the spirit and hope of Motown in the 1960s. Inspired by such hits as the Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown, Jackie Wilson and others, it tells the story of a black girl group from Chicago who make it big in a business controlled by white men. The trio- Effie White (Constance Jewell Lopez), Deena Jones (Jennifer Colby Talton) and Lorell Robinson (Tyra Dennis)-- together with their brother, CC White (Frank Andrus, Jr.) fight for recognition, also fight for friendship and love while their cultural identity changes. The musical's universal message is about striving to "get to the top" and the personal cost of staying there.
Discovered by an ambitious agent, Curtis Taylor (Welton Thomas Pitchford) as he tries to find back up singers for his act, James Early (Keith Arthur Bolden), he soon realizes the gold that he has and must pull Lorell away from James even as he leaves Effie for Deena. When Effie leaves the group Michelle Morris (Tiffany Williams) takes over as the third singer and Marty (Lorenzo T Hughes) goes on to assist Effie.
Other great singers in the play were the Stepp Sisters (Regan Carrington, Leslie Marrero, Desiree Parkman); Les Styles (Tandrea Nicole Tarver, Lina Green) , 5 Tuxedos (Stephen Anglin, Ty Brittingham, Ra'Shawn Durell, James Oronoz, Jeremy Whatley) and The Sweethearts (Michelle Holmes, Marni Stone, Melissa Owens.) Back up ensemble singers and actors included also Parnell Damone Marcano, Alan Fleury, Robert Gee, Mookie Johnson, Paul Lange, Theodore Mark Martinez, Nik Roybal, and Tandrea Tarver with Adair Gilliam and Rachae Thomas as understudies.
Executive Produced and directed by Marco Gomez and Produced by Dolf Ramos and Michael Abramson, it was scored by their musical director, Chris Raymond and choreographed by Rae Toledo. The costume designer, Michael Mullen, is to be applauded for the fantastic mouth watering array of gowns that the cast wore. He was ably assisted by assistant Ellie Follet and wardrobe supervisor Aja Morris-Smiley and props master, Hallie Baran. The excellent sound was provided by David Crawford. Johnny Ryman did the lighting while Danielle DeMasters managed the production. Amanda Lawson did the scenic design. The band included Antonio Rodrigo, Martin Diller, James Blackwell, Ermuel Navarro and Tom Luer.
You'll definitely enjoy the glitter and the spectacle. There is haze in some of the scenes, but that shouldn't be enough to bother anyone.
Doma has consistently presented large scale Broadway style musicals in a small intimate setting. The play runs Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm until April 14. Ticket prices range from $40-34.99 with seniors and students paying only $20. The Met theatre is located at 1089 Oxford near Western and Santa Monica. Parking is available at the Catalina Market for $5.
For more information call 323 802-4990 or go to www.domatheatre.com