DREAMGIRLS
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Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyer Music by Henry Krieger
Wednesday, August 7 -
Sunday, September 1

Wed & Thurs 7:30pm / Fri & Sat 8:00pm
Wed & Sun 2:00pm

 

Sheniqua Denise Trotman plays Effie White

DREAMGIRLS is a show about a time in American musical history when what is called rhythm and blues blended with other styles of popular music creating a new American sound.  Act One is set in the fabulous sixties-a time when we were still screaming at Elvis and listening to the Beatles, but were dancing to the new beat of countless girl and boy groups like The Supremes, The Marvelettes, The Temptations and The Shirelles.

Caliaf St. Aubyn* plays Jimmy Early

DREAMGIRLS is not just about the singing and the dancing and the performing. The play is also about the behind-the-scenes reality of the entertainment industry-the business part of show business that made possible this cultural phenomenon. Act Two shows the creation and the arrival of disco. The subject matter of this play deals with a musical contribution to America of such importance that only now – two decades later – are we beginning to understand.   -Michael Bennett

Winner of 6 Tony Awards and 4 Drama Desk Awards

Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyer
Music by Henry Krieger
Original Broadway Production Directed and Choreographed by Michael Bennett
Produced on Broadway by Michael Bennett, Robert Avian, Geffen Records and The Shubert Organization

Generously sponsored by:  Citizens Bank

Purchase tickets on line now, please follow this link. Tickets can also be purchased by calling our box office on 860.767.7318.

Collin Lyle Howard (Marty) is a graduate of The Hartt School with a B.F.A. in Music Theatre.  Collin is excited to make his return to the Ivoryton Playhouse. Favorite roles include: Tom Collins, RENT, John, Miss Saigon, Flick, Violet, Fred, Smokey Joe’s Cafe and originating the role of Gary in A Woman of A Certain Age (debuted at Ivoryton Playhouse).

 

 

 

Damian Norfleet* (Curtis Taylor, Jr) This is Damian’s his first time at the Ivoryton Playhouse and with the show Dreamgirls. His past roles include Coalhouse Walker, Jr. in Ragtime, Joe in Showboat, Old Deuteronomy in Cats, Scar in The Festival of the Lion King, Kenin Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Specialist in Tommy, Young Horseman/Nugget in Equus, Olin Britt in The Music Man, and Paul in Kiss me, Kate. Damian played the role of Smith in the Drama Desk Award nominated production of The Threepenny Opera and was nominated for an IRNE Award for Best Actor for his performance in Ragtime. In addition to doing established works, Damian actively participates in workshops, including Makandal at Harlem Stage, Go West! (Village People Musical), Casanova at AMAS Musical Theater, and multiple new shows with the Prospect Theater Company. Damian is also an advocate for new American operas. He recently played Frederick Douglas in the new opera Truth and originated the role of John Tubman in Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed with The American Opera Project.

 

Jennlee Shallow (Deena Jones) grew up in Trinidad singing in the local church choir. After Disney held auditions for The Lion King in Trinidad, she discovered musical theatre and hasn’t had much time to look back. Jennlee played Nala in The Lion King in Germany and Australia, Sarah in Ragtime (The Kennedy Centre, D.C.) and was a lead singer in Cirque Du Soleil’s Viva Elvis in the City Centre, Las Vegas. She recently finished a run as the featured singer in Dragone’s Taboo in Macau, China. Jennlee has also recorded on pop albums as a backing singer and is pursuing her solo recording career.  www.jennleeshallow.com

 

Ashley Jeudy* (Lorrell Robinson) is so excited to be apart of this production of Dreamgirls! She hails from Long Island, NY and has a B.F.A. with a concentration in Musical Theater from Howard University. Some of her favorite shows she’s been a part of include Aida (Aida), Little Shop of Horrors (Ronette), Company (April), Rocky Horror (Magenta), and Once on this Island (Timoune) to name a few.

 

 

Sheniqua Denise Trotman (Effie Melody White) is elated to be playing one of her dream roles at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Sheniqua is from Huntsville, Alabama where she attended the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) and studied Musical Theater. Some of her past credits include Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Nell), Once on this Island (Erzulie), and Children of Eden (Eve). She has also sung background for German Pop Star Cassandra Steen and toured with Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers.

 

Elgin Giles* (M.C. / Wayne)  Ivoryton Playhouse DEBUT! He has also appeared in: Fulton Theatre/ MSMT – Dreamgirls (Asst Choreo, Dance Capt.), North Carolina Theatre –Legally Blonde (GrandMaster Chad), Oliver! EVITA, West Side Story, FAME (Tyrone Jackson). Westchester Broadway Dinner Theatre – Hairspray (Seaweed). Merry-Go-Round Playhouse – Hairspray (Gilbert), Cape Fear Regional Theatre – Hairspray (Seaweed). Elgin is a BMI Songwriter with releases on iTunes, is a proud member of Actors Equity and is represented by Professional Artist’s Talent Agency.

 

Jayson Kerr* (Tiny Joe Dixon / Jerry / Film Executive) is thrilled to return to Ivoryton Playhouse where he has been in past productions of Finian’s Rainbow, and The Producers. He has also been on the national tours of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Jesus Christ Superstar (w/ Ted Neeley), and Evita. Other favorite credits include: Dreamgirls (The Palace Theatre), Once on This Island, and Titanic. He is also a proud member of AEA!!

 

 

 

Datus Puryear (C.C. White) is pleased to be making is Ivoryton Playhouse debut! His recent credits include Marcus Franklin III (Ars Novs NYC), Ken Ludwig’s The Three Musketeers (Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park); A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Know Theatre)

 

 

Caliaf St. Aubyn* (Jimmy Early) is an artist who strives to entertain his audience with hopes that they leave each and every performance feeling fulfilled. Some of his accomplishments are playing the role of Levee in August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, performing with one of his mentors, Gregory Hines, in the Showtime movie Bojangles, playing the role of Seaweed J. Stubbs in the Paper Mill Playhouse 2010 production of Hairspray and sharing the stage with the incomparable Ms. Patti LaBelle. He was involved in working on the launch for the lab of the Broadway show Motown the Musical, as well as having a featured role in the 2013 Film Admissions.

 

Brennyn Lark Langhorn (Michelle Morris) is overjoyed and grateful to be making her debut on the Ivoryton Playhouse stage in one of her favorite shows of all time Dreamgirls. Brennyn is continuously writing and recording her own music, working to pursue a music career as a pop / R&B recording artist. You may have seen her last as, Lindsay in the National Tour of Virtually Me, Princess Tiana at the Bijou Theater in Bridgeport CT, or as a singer in Mostly Motown.  Favorite roles include: Aida (Aida); Dorothy (The Wiz); and Asaka (Once On This Island).

 

Jeffrey Wright (Dave) is thrilled to be returning to Ivoryton Playhouse where he was last seen in The Graduate. Jeffrey has been seen on stages throughout Connecticut and NYC. His favorite credits include: Curly McClain (Oklahoma!), Jimmy Smith (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Joseph (Joseph/Dreamcoat), Glen Gulia (The Wedding Singer) and Lt. Daniel Kaffee (A Few Good Men).

 

 

 

Vlad Dorson (Male Ensemble) is a native of Miami, Fl. This will be his debut performance at the Ivoryton Playhouse. He graduated from Florida A&M University with a degree in theatre and dance. His credits include Smokey Joes Cafe as Victor, Cabaret, Beyond Therapy as Bob and A Tribute To Ed Sullivan as Frankie Lymon just to name a few.  He is excited to be a part of this great cast of talented performers.

 

 

Valton Jackson (Male Ensemble) is a southern boy all the way from Columbus, GA with a BA in Theatre from Berea College. Regional: Tarzan (The Leopard), A Chorus Line (Richie), Lessons on the A Train (Alonso) directed by Mr. Reg E. Gaines, Joseph…Dreamcoat (Judah), Twilight in Harlem (featured dancer) with Ms. Carmen de Lavallade, State Fair (Hank Munson), and Nutcracker: Rated R (Fritz/Male Ingénue). Film & Television: Trial of Barnaby Finch (Shiva god) and Boardwalk Empire.  Valton was a vocalist aboard Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas, and this past February, Valton was also an underwear model in Adrian Alicea’s “CHRYSALIS” for New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

 

David Kaverman (Male Ensemble) billed as a crossover artist, David has appeared on stage as Jesus in Godspell, the title character in Pippin, Robert in Oscar Hammerstein’s The New Moon, Robert in Ron Grainer’s Robert and Elizabeth and And the World Goes Round, a Kander and Eb review. His operatic performances include Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi and he recently made his debut with Toledo Opera as Ruiz in Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Mr. Kaverman is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Carolyn Marlow. He currently resides in New York City.

 

 

David Melendez (Male Ensemble) is thrilled to have the opportunity to step to the bad side at Ivoryton Playhouse in one of his favorite shows!  Select credits: A Chorus Line (Paul), Bubbling Brown Sugar (Young John Sage), 25th Annual…Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney), Hair(Tribe).  David has also performed numerous times in Broadway fundraisers like Easter Bonnet and Gypsy Of The Year with the cast of The Lion King. AMDA graduate.

 

 

 

Laurel Richardson (Female Ensemble) from Chicago, IL. trained with the Alvin Ailey School, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Western Michigan University where she received her BA.  Her professional dance career began in Chicago, IL. performing with MPAACT Theatre Company, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, and the Chicago Sinfonietta.  Ms. Richardson performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. during the 2005 African American Choreographers Series. She toured with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble based in Denver, CO. Regional theatre credits include The Color Purple WPPAC, NY. She has taught dance throughout the country, in workshops at several universities and in New York City schools. Recently she taught in Belo Horizonte, Brazil at Centro de Arte Savassi.

 

Kris Roberts (Female Ensemble) lives in NYC and holds a BFA in Drama from NYU/Tisch. Kris has performed as a principal singer on Royal Caribbean ships and several theme parks, including Walt Disney World.  She was most recently seen at the Interlakes Summer Theatre in Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Charlayne) and Dreamgirls (Michelle). Favorite roles: Once on This Island (TiMoune), Hairspray (L’il Inez/Dynamite), CATS (Bombalurina), Footloose (Urleen), Seussical (Sour Kangaroo), Cabaret (Rosie), Hair (Tribe).  www.krisroberts.net

 

Mya Rose (Female Ensemble)  is a professional performing artist and native of Charleston, SC. She received her academic and formal arts training at Charleston County School of the Arts and graduated with honors in 2004. After receiving scholarships to attend Columbia College and the American Dance Festival, Ms. Rose toured as a soloist with The Ailey School Student Performance Group and graduated from The Ailey School Professional Division in 2008.  Throughout her career, Ms. Rose has toured with Rakaba West African Ballet, Adandé Dance Company, Footprints Dance Company and The Thorn with featured performances as a principal dancer in The Thorn and guest artist at New York City Center with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Currently, she travels as a freelance artist.

 

Carlita Victoria (Ensemble) is a Raleigh, North Carolina native; she attended The University of NC at Greensboro (BFA Dance Performance & Choreography, K-12 Dance Education). Favorite credits- National Tour: Chuck Davis & The African American Dance Ensemble. Industrial: Glee Project Promo featuring Darren Criss (Lead Singer). Regional: The Color Purple (Nettie), Dreamgirls (Lorrell Robinson), Hairspray (Little Inez/Dynamite), Disney’s Aladdin (Regional Premeire), Shani Collins/Eternal Works (Soloist), Urban Bush Women (Apprentice). International – Gyeonggi Village Theatre Company, PAS Jazz Dance Co. of Seoul, DzaNonmo Dance Co. of Ghana. Favorite performances: American Dance Festival (NC), Dance Africa (TX), Jacob’s Pillow (MA), Dance Theatre Workshop (NY), Ailey Citigroup Theatre (NY), Alliance Francais (Accra, Ghana).  In her spare time, Carlita runs her shop, Sankofa Vintage Boutique. www.carlitavictoria.com

 

The Sweethearts

Rebecca Maddy (Sweetheart) is happy to be performing with the Ivoryton Playhouse. She is a soon to be a senior in the BFA Musical Theatre program at the University of Hartford. She has been featured in such performances as Big River, Miss Saigon and Time After Time, as well as Taming of the Shrew, and Pippin. Her film credits include promotion videos for Lake Compounce and Independent films entitled Creepy Crawley and Grandpa is a Weirdo.

 

 

Cori Stolbum (Sweetheart) is excited to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse Debut! She is a rising junior at The Hartt School pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre and was last seen in On the Twentieth Century. Favorite past credits include: The Woman in White (Laura Fairlie), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Edwin Drood), and The Sound of Music (Elsa Schraeder).

 

 

 

Directed by:  Lawrence Thelen

Choreographer:  Todd Underwood

Musical Director:  Michael Morris

Stage Manager:  Johanna K. Levai*

Scenic Design:  Marcus Abbott

Lighting Design:  Marcus Abbott

Costume Design:  Njaye Olds

Hair Design:

* member of Actors Equity

Purchase tickets on line now, please follow this link. Tickets can also be purchased by calling our box office on 860.767.7318.

 

Free Summer Tent Events!

Casual, pre-theatre events from 6:30pm during select Wednesdays throughout the summer.  Themed around each production, there will be food, drinks, music, promotions and competitions at each event.  All events are free for theatre ticket holders to enjoy!  Can’t decide when to attend a production?  Well, we just made it easy for you.

Wednesday, August 14 - Ladies Night features bubbly for the ladies and special promotions

Wednesday, August 21 - Wine Tasting provided by Shore Discount Liquors, Deep River

Wednesday, August 28  - Mother, Daughter and BFF’s Night – one for Mom & Daughter and all your besties!

Tent events are sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank

 

Director Larry Thelen

 

By Dreamgirls Director Larry Thelen

Some of my colleagues refer to Dreamgirls as simply “a Black musical.”  For me, Dreamgirls has always been an American musical.  Yes, the plot centers on some very successful, and not so successful Black Americans, but the story being told, the hurdles being leaped, the dreams being pursued are universal.

I’ve told this story many times before, but my musical theatre education was profoundly shaped during the late 1970s and early 80s by three shows: Sweeney Todd for how epic a musical could be, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road for how subtle a musical could be, and Dreamgirls for how seamless a musical could be – as if the writer and composer and director and choreographer had all been the same person.   I felt safe watching Dreamgirls – trusting that the creative team was taking me on a fulfilling roller coaster ride, a satisfying and emotional journey in the theatre – and that in the end I was going to be a better person for it.

Because of that, I feel a tremendous responsibility to successfully take our audience to where I had been taken so many years ago.

 

Purchase tickets on line now, please follow this link. Tickets can also be purchased by calling our box office on 860.767.7318.

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE – 07/18/13

Catch the Dream!
Dreamgirls
at The Ivoryton Playhouse

Ivoryton:  Full of onstage joy and backstage drama, the sensational new production of DREAMGIRLS, which opens in Ivoryton on August 7th, tells the story of an up-and-coming 1960s girl singing group, and the triumphs and tribulations that come with fame and fortune. With music by Academy Award nominee Henry Krieger and book and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award winner Tom Eyen, DREAMGIRLS features the unforgettable hits: “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” “One Night Only” and “Listen.”  This Tony and Academy Award winning musical sparkles like never before on the intimate Ivoryton stage!

DREAMGIRLS opened on December 20, 1981 at the Imperial Theatre starring American Idol star Jennifer Holliday as Effie, and was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical.  It won six and was later adapted into a motion picture from DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures in 2006.

Lawrence Thelen will be directing this production, choreography by Todd L. Underwood and musical direction by Michael Morris. This cast has come to Ivoryton from far and wide and  includes Sheniqua Denise Trotman from Huntsville, Alabama as Effie; JennLee Shallow from Trinidad as Deena and Ashley Jeudy*, who is currently playing Rusty in Footloose, as Lorell. The production design is by Marcus Abbott and the costumes by NJaye Olds.

Dreamgirls opens in Ivoryton on August 7th and runs through September 1st. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Generously sponsored by:  Citizens Bank

Members of the press are welcome at any performance.  Please call ahead for tickets.

*member of Actors Equity

 

Purchase tickets on line now, please follow this link. Tickets can also be purchased by calling our box office on 860.767.7318.

Looking for something to do? The Ivoryton Playhouse was voted Best Place to See Live Theatre by readers of the Shoreline Times.



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Did You
Know

DREAMGIRLS played for 1521 performances on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre starring Ben Harney, Jennifer Holliday, Loretta Devine and Sheryl Lee Ralph. It was revived on Broadway in 1987 for 177 performances at the Ambassador Theatre.