CMU School of Drama

Thursday, March 16, 2017

‘Dreamgirls’… Continues Pgh Musical Theater’s season

New Pittsburgh Courier: Monteze Freeland is excited to be portraying Curtis Taylor Jr. in Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s rendition of “Dreamgirls.”

“I was introduced to ‘Dreamgirls’ in middle school when I received the cast album for Christmas and truly changed my artistry. It was glamorous and lush. Then in high school, the full concert version came out, which blew my mind because I didn’t know there was so much music left out of the original cast album. I never saw myself as Curtis, ironically my dream role in the show is Marty—played expertly in our production by Jason Shavers—but that I’m in Curtis’ shoes I have to say he’s a very complex man who likes to keep me up all night.”


Marisa Rinchiuso said...

What a coincidence! Theatre Under The Stars in Houston is producing Dreamgirls as well this month. It agree with the article that Dreamgirls is a great crowd-pleaser because it has amazing iconic recognition. Even before the movie with an all-star cast the show was extremely successful. It carries so much history and immense emotion with it. Because it is a huge show that takes place in countless locations, somewhere around 12?, it comes with many technical challenges. In addition, after the movie release there is always subconscious comparisons to the stage and film. In that sense, it always seems to come up short on stage, but a great advantage of presenting it on stage is that the performance seems to be enhanced by the seeing the journey of the characters right in front of you, as well as hearing the amazing score in person. It seems like a great show for large regional theatres who have the ability to produce large, iconic shows.

Zak Biggins said...

I would really love the chance to see this musical! I love dreamgirls! It has become such a staple piece in musical theatre (for good reason). My first encounter with the show was the 2006 movie starring Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce, and Jamie Foxx. My only issue with that specific "production" was the focus they put on beyonce and that the writers changed scenes and songs to make Deena the starring character versus effie. Over spring break, I had the opportunity to see Wicked where Sheryl Lee Ralph (the original Deena) played Madame Morrible. I personally enjoyed her portrayal in Dream Girls much more than in wicked. This show is iconic for being an emotional rollercoaster and as Marissa stated, it teaches important history lessons about what it was like to be a black woman in the music industry in the 1960's. I think everyone can learn something from dream girls and everyone should get a chance to see it, if possible.

APJS said...

Dreamgirls is an all time favorite for me. I have spent a many nights belting my lungs out trying to put myself in the mind set of Effi White. I would say I know most every word to the movie for almost every song. I think this show shows the best parts of black artistic ability on stage. It speaks to me and such a emotional level it’s hard to resist singing along. I am interested to lean more about Monteze Freeland. I feel like we are lacking in black theatre composers and writers. I would be interested in see what he as written so far. I personally feel like there are so many stories out there for black people that just haven’t been told. Maybe there are some reimagining that also need to happen, but its never going to happen until we get some more black play rights and get them to the main stage.