Dreamgirls is a powerhouse musical, inspired by Motown, celebrating R&B in the 1960s with obvious parallels to Diana Ross and The Supremes.
"My father actually opened for the Temptations in the Motown Review," said Angela Birchett, who plays Effie. "It was the traveling show. Just like we do, They go all over mostly the south, but Detroit being where Motown started, it was a huge deal. Diana Ross and the Supremes, every Motown act that was signed to the label at the time would do it. In studying for this show, one of the one things I did was call home and say can you screen shot some pictures from back in the day and I got first hand stories about Motown. And to do this story and it's so closely paralleled to the story, the region, it gives me goosebumps."
Angela Birchett is an east coast actress originally from Detroit, taking the stage at Village Theatre for the first time in her career.
"I've really been blown away by the quality of the productions here," continued Birchett.
She shares the stage with three other fabulous performers, who all have big shoes to fill with women like Beynce and Jennifer Hudson starring in the very same roles.
"It can be intimidating, but at the same time exciting," said Lauren Dupree, who plays Deena. "And, it's so much material to sink your teeth into and be able to play these women on stage with the rest of our cast. We just have all-star cast where we're making the story real for us now."
In a show packed with such intense and dramatic numbers, we wondered how the stars keep their energy sky high every night.
"The start of the show starts off with four cow bells and as soon as I hear that boomp, boomp, boomp, boomp, I'm like, awe we're about to do Dreamgirls" said Alexandria Henderson, who plays Lorrell. "That energizes me throughout every performance and I know it can be rough because I want to come out and do this huge, big show every time. And then I'm like, whoa, voice, we have to make that last. But it's so hard because we're surrounded by such talent."
For all four women, they all agree, every character learns hard lessons about love, trust and what it takes to get to the top.