"Dreamgirls" at Portland Center Stage
Portland Center Stage is housed in an historic Armory, making for a unique and beautiful lobby. Their staff was friendly and helpful, and even preemptively asked us to please not rest our drinks on the balcony edge, because I guess they are psychic too and know what a klutz I am.
The show itself was great- it's loosely based on the story of The Supremes, telling the story of The Dreamettes coming to New York for the Apollo's famous talent competition and becoming embroiled with a manager who quickly learns that sometimes you have to play a little dirty to compete on the pop charts. The cast was phenomenal, especially Nattalyee Randall as Effie, the most talented Dreamette, who gets downgraded due to her looks, and Calvin Scott Roberts as C.C., the group's composer and Effie's brother. The set was simple but wonderful- a large circular hole at the back of the stage was lit with different colors and hung with different decors, and served as a stage within a stage when the characters were waiting backstage.
My only complaint was the microphones stuck to the actors' foreheads- I found them to be distracting in the second act, when the girls no longer rock bangs. I really thought the "Diana Ross" of the group had a giant zit on her forehead until I noticed the bumps on other actors and then couldn't stop noticing them.
If you enjoy musicals and are in Portland, I highly recommend seeing this show! I teared up and got goosebumps, and my companion full on cried three times. The production earned a standing ovation from the vast majority of theatergoers, and I'm pretty sure the rest were physically unable to stand.
Check out the production's site and snag tickets here.
Watch the trailer for the production here.