• John Murray

Dreams come true

There is a story behind every dream and when dreams come true the story becomes known. Forty years ago, this month I secured a rare radio interview with Mary Wilson who was playing the Lochgelly Centre in Fife for one night only. The stories she had to tell were extraordinary as she and her Detroit school friends formed a vocal group at school called The Primettes in 1959. Becoming a trio in 1961 and signing to Tamla Motown as The Supremes the rise to fame was meteoric. Mary Wilson named her autobiography Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme and the similarities to the stage musical Dreamgirls was noted but denied as a composite of lots of vocal groups from that time.

Fast forward to Dreamgirls the stage musical currently playing the Edinburgh Playhouse all this week and after opening on Broadway in 1981 won six Tony Awards and became a movie with Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Beyonce. This current touring production comes direct from the West End with a massive UK tour which will see them play Cardiff, Wimbledon and Nottingham back-to-back then onward to close in Belfast in February 2023. If you find tickets hard to secure do remember Dreamgirls returns to Scotland with dates in Aberdeen, Her Majesty’s in August and Glasgow Kings Theatre in October. For me Edinburgh was the immediate target as I love the Motown sound and this show has a score of epic proportions including One Night Only and the ovation inducing, And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.

Nicole Raquel Dennis plays Effie magnificently, her solo vocals are outstanding and when she closed the first act, I had goosebumps from the first line. Natalie Kasanga plays Deena as the new leader of the group and commands the stage with her new glittering status, no wonder then she played Diana Ross in Motown The Musical and Paige Peddie stars as Lorrelle with a strong performance on a busy busy stage. The fictional but inspired story follows the three girls from Chicago on the musical ladder and sixteen costume changes later we get the finished polished trio. The pace of the show is breathtaking with hardly a moment rest as the interweaving relationships mix with the music.

Brandon Lee Sears as the energetic Jimmy Early can do the show on his own with his dance moves and convincing funky vocals. Great staging from the creatives as we see from behind the stage at the Apollo Theatre Harlem as well as out front and in the television studios. Great merchandise too with T-shirts, keychains, compact and gorgeous gold necklaces.

Dreamgirls The musical at the Edinburgh Playhouse until April 16 Tickets HERE

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