‘Dreamgirls’ takes center stage at Stranahan TheaterWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Charity Dawson is starring in her favorite musical. The Tony and Academy Award-winning “Dreamgirls” will play at the Stranahan Theater from April 25-28. Dawson plays Effie in the role of her lifetime.
“I do not just say that,” Dawson said. “It is my favorite musical of all time. I didn’t care if I was just in the back; I just wanted to be in the show.”
The show follows the backstage drama of a 1960s girl groupand was inspired by the career of Diana Ross and The Supremes, according to a news release. The Broadway hit includes songs “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” and “Listen,” with book and lyrics by Tom Eyen.
The local show is directed by Robert Longbottom and produced by Big League Productions.
Dawson heard the original cast recording of “Dreamgirls” as a child. She saw it on stage in 2006 at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia.
“I love it; I saw it nine times there,” she said.
She said she loves how “Dreamgirls” is written and the way it takes the audience “backstage.” She said it is different from anything she has seen or heard before.
“I love the fact that it’s a very cinematic show,” Dawson said. “I fell in love with the writing and how the story was told and the music.”
She said she has been preparing for this role for a long time, since being assigned songs to sing from “Dreamgirls” when she was in school. As a result, she didn’t feel intimidated by the part.
“I have an understanding of the character,” she said. “I’ve been studying this show before I was even in it. It’s just a big role to take on and big shoes to fill. I just took it as it’s my turn.”
Dawson said although she enjoys the film adaptation featuring Jennifer Hudson playing Effie, she hasn’t watched the movie since getting the part. She wanted to approach the role on her own, without outside bias.
“I think every actor should find their truth in [a role] and get their own understanding of the character,” she said.
Dawson graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York in 2005. She said she knows the area well because her brother, Trinity Dawson, played football for the University of Toledo.
Showtimes are 8 p.m. April 25-27, 2 p.m. April 27-28 and 7 p.m. April 28. Tickets can be purchased starting at $23 at the Stranahan Theater Box Office or by phone at (419) 381-8851.