Dreamgirls opens Paramount Theatre's Broadway Series, August 31 - October 16, 2022
Posted on 07/25/2022 by James Cardis
Paramount Theatre invites you to meet Effie, Lorrell and Deena, three talented young Black singers in the turbulent 1960s whose rise to the top will test their friendships to the very limit.
That’s right, we’re talking about Dreamgirls, the Tony-winning musical inspired by The Supremes that spawned an Oscar-winning movie. And where better to see a full-blown production of this seminal musical than at Aurora’s beautiful Paramount Theatre, launching its 11th Broadway Series with Dreamgirls, August 31-October 16, 2022.
Travel back with Paramount to the 1960s. The Motown sound is on the rise, and the Dreamettes are three young women trying to break their way onto the music scene. When car salesman Curtis Taylor, Jr. signs the trio to a record label, he sets in motion a series of events that will forever change their lives, for better and for worse. Join the Dreamgirls as they navigate the highs and lows of life, love and fame. And remember, all you gotta do is dream.
Christopher D. Betts will direct, and Dreamgirls marks his hometown debut. A Chicago native, Betts is a New York-based director, writer, producer, and NYU professor, who recently completed his MFA in Directing at Yale School of Drama.
Previews start August 31. Opening Night is Friday, September 9, at 8 p.m. Performances run through October 16, 2022: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. and
7 p.m.; Thursdays at 7 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. (exception: No 1:30 p.m. matinee on Wednesday, August 31).
Four-play 2022-23 subscriptions including Dreamgirls and three more amazing musicals - The Sound of Music, Into the Woods and School of Rock - for new subscribers are on sale now, starting at just $56. Single tickets to Dreamgirls are $28 to $79 and go on sale Monday, July 25, at 10 a.m.
Paramount Theatre is located at 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. For tickets and information, visit paramountaurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Note: Dreamgirls is suggested for ages 10 and up due to adult language and relationship content.
Dreaming Big: Behind the scenes of Paramount’s 2022-23 opener
“I am thrilled to be returning to the Chicagoland area to direct Dreamgirls at Paramount. As a Chicago native, it is a dream come true to reintroduce myself to my community as a director — with my favorite musical — after matriculating from NYU Tisch and The Yale School of Drama,” said director Christopher D. Betts (pictured, right).
“The American Theatre is undergoing a crucial social justice reckoning, and our industry is beginning to bend toward the inclusion of people who belong to the communities represented onstage as leaders of the theatrical process. I am an example of this. Dreamgirls represents a similar moment in history when Black artists were beginning to have a fighting chance at impacting the music industry. I am committed to being reverent to this historic and iconic moment in Black History. I hope this production will not only affirm that our dreams are valid but inspire a new dream for the future.”
Paramount’s Dreamgirls are Taylor Marie Daniel as Deena, Mariah Lyttle as Lorrell and Breyannah Tillman as Effie, with Lorenzo Rush Jr. as Curtis Taylor, Jr. and Ben Toomer as Jimmy “Thunder” Early. Naima Alakham, Daryn Alexus, Averis I. Anderson, Christian Denzel Bufford, Shantel Cribbs, Raven Monique Dockery, Gilbert Domally, Joshua L. Green, Evan Tyrone Martin, Dwayne P. Mitchell, Austin Nelson Jr., Juwon Tyrel Perry, Wildlin Pierrevil, Maurice Rex Randle, Nissi Shalome, Aalon Smith, Shelbi Voss, Aeriel Williams and Eustace J. Williams are the Dreamgirls ensemble.
The production team is Christopher D. Betts, director; Amy Hall Garner, choreographer; Christie Chiles Twillie, music director and conductor; Jeffrey D. Kmiec, scenic designer; Samantha C. Jones, costume designer; José Santiago, lighting designer; Adam Rosenthal, sound designer; Mike Tutaj, projection designer; Reuben Echoles, wig, hair and makeup designer and associate casting director; Jesse Gaffney, properties designer; Quenna Lené Barrett, assistant director; Mya King, assistant choreographer; Kailey Rockwell, associate music director and associate conductor; Jessica Forella, stage manager; and Jaci Entwisle, assistant stage manager.
The original Broadway production of Dreamgirls opened at New York’s Imperial Theatre on December 20, 1981. The musical played 10 previews and 1,521 performances before closing August 11,1985, earning 13 Tony nominations and winning six. Henry Krieger’s music and Tom Eyen’s book and lyrics and book are unstoppably excellent. The original Broadway production was directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett. Orchestrations are by Harold Wheeler.
The musical spawned the 2006 DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures film of the same name, written and directed by Bill Condon, featured stars like Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover, and famously earned an Oscar for Chicago’s own Jennifer Hudson for her supporting role as Effie.
Special Events at Paramount's production of Dreamgirls
Pay What You Can Performances
Thursday, September 1, 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 3, 3 p.m.
Paramount is offering two Pay What You Can performances of Dreamgirls. Both days, starting at 10 a.m., visit the Paramount Theatre box office in-person to request tickets. Limit four per person. See paramountaurora.com/pay-what-you-can for details.
Divine Nine Night at Dreamgirls
Saturday September 10, 8 p.m.
Midwest chapters of the “Divine Nine” Black sororities and fraternities will join together for a special night at Paramount’s Dreamgirls, furthering the council’s mission to educate and uplift the Black community from racial inequities.
Civic Organization Night at Dreamgirls
Saturday, September 17, 8 p.m.
Local civic organizations, community and political leaders and black owned businesses are invited to this special night at Paramount’s Dreamgirls to celebrate the community-building power of live theater.
Church Night at Dreamgirls
Sunday, September 18, 5:30 p.m.
Chicago-area congregations are invited to praise the power of faith, perseverance, gospel music and the sounds of Motown at Church Night at Dreamgirls.
To learn more, get involved or for information on how to get discounted group tickets to any Dreamgirls special event, contact Melissa Striedl, firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 723-2461.
Access Services at Paramount Theatre
Paramount offers assistive listening devices free of charge at all performances. Check in at the coat room before the show to borrow a listening device.
If you require wheelchair or special seating or other assistance, please contact the box office at (630) 896-6666 or email@example.com in advance.
Paramount will offer an American Sign Language interpreted performance on Friday, October 14, at 8 p.m. An open and closed captioned performance is TBA.