CD Review – Dreamgirls – Original London Cast

dreamgirls DREAMGIRLS – Original London Cast (Sony – 889854294922)

Having taken London by storm at the Savoy Theatre, Sony has released a double live recording which simply sizzles with electricity and loads of atmosphere. Not only is it recorded live, but it also contains the full score, which is absolutely brilliant for all those Dreamgirls enthusiasts out there. What more could you want?

The cast includes both Olivier Award winners Amber Riley and Adam J Bernard, in the roles of Effie White and Jimmy Early. However, that is not to belittle the rest of the cast members who, without exception, are on top form and shine through on this superb CD.

Being a live recording, it has not had the luxury of studio re-recordings or musical overdubs, so what you hear is exactly what you would experience at the Savoy Theatre were you to see the show live.

There are many outstanding tracks but the ones I would point out are: ‘Steppin’ to the Bad Side’; ‘I Miss You Old Friend’; ‘Listen’, ‘Ain’t No Party’; ‘The Rap’; and, of course, ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’.

Through the years ‘And I Am Telling You’ has been done to death and become woefully clichéd by singers who have taken Jennifer Holliday’s version and tried to crank it up a notch. However, Riley takes the whole thing back to the original and, without all the dramatics, makes it her own.

All in all, this is one original cast recording that every musical theatre fan will want to have in their collection. Great stuff.

Nick Wakeham

Tickets for Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre are available HERE.

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