Fame gives group a new set of challenges

Dreamgirls is about a time in American musical history when rhythm and blues blended with other styles of popular music creating a whole new American sound.

Based on the show business aspirations and successes of R&B acts such as The Supremes, The Shirelles and others, this hit Broadway musical tells the story of a young female singing trio that crosses over to the pop charts in the 1960s to become music superstars.

But as the group’s fame and fortune skyrockets, they soon realise that life on top is rocky.

Act one is set in the fabulous Sixties –  a time when we were still screaming at Elvis and bopping to the Beatles but were dancing to the new beat of girl and boy groups like The Supremes, The Marvelettes and The Temptations.

Act Two depicts the creation and the arrival of disco.

The music of Dreamgirls charts the musical contribution to America of a period whose importance we are only now –  decades later –  beginning to fully understand.

Dreamgirls is not just about electrifying singing and the dancing.

The show also reveals the behind-the-scenes reality of the entertainment industry – the bitter rivalries and the heartbreak as well as the hard-edged business part of show business that made possible this cultural phenomenon.

Dreamgirls director Rod Herbert.

Dreamgirls director Rod Herbert.

Director Rod Herbert of Helensburgh, with musical direction from Anthony Cutrupi and choreography by Cronulla’s Joseph Nalty, Dreamgirls stars Kaleigh Wilkie-Smith, Sasha-Lee Saunders (Sans Souci) and Jade Montalvo (Mascot) as Effie, Deena and Lorrell – the Dreamettes.

Craig Winterburn (Engadine) and Liv Wassef (Loftus) are also part of the all-singing, all-dancing ensemble of more than 30.

Herbert said he was thrilled to be able to add his own take on a hit show that is still playing professionally on London’s West End.

‘‘We are showcasing some of Sydney’s best talent and they will take audiences on a journey of ups and downs faced by African-American performers during the 60’s and 70’s struggling for acceptance not only in American Society but also on the music charts and within their own industry,” Herbert.

“Audiences will fall in love with every character on the stage and will leave wanting more of the powerful and stunning voices of our cast!’’ 

Rockdale Musical Society presents Dreamgirls – book and lyrics by Tom Eyer, and music by Henry Krieger – from September 8-17 at the Rockdale Town Hall, corner of Princes Highway and Bryant Street, Rockdale.

  • Bookings: rockdalemusicalsociety.com