Dreamgirls, the Tony award winning musical opens this Saturday, October 15th at the Thomaston Opera House at 8pm. The play follows the career of girl group, The Dreams, as they climb the Billboard charts into stardom during the 1960s. Samantha Rae Bass stars as “Effie White,” a role originally played by legendary actress and singer, Jennifer Holliday. Bass a transplant to Manchester, Connecticut from Cookeville, Tennessee most recently took to the TOH stage in Memphis as “Felicia.” As Effie, taking on this “larger than life role” has connected Bass to the character in many ways. Bass says “what people don’t understand about Effie, is that she has tons of insecurities,”“her drive to be the best being her biggest downfall.” This drive and downfall culminate to form the iconic ballad “(And I’m Telling You) I’m Not Going,” at the end of the first act.
The play also stars, Khadija Ansari as “Deena” and Jasmine Clemons as “Lorrell.” Deena, the role orginated by Waterbury native, Sheryl Lee Ralph, assumes the lead position in the group after Effie’s departure. Ansari, a Hartford native and newcomer to the TOH stage, says “although [Deena] doesn’t start out as the lead, her drive is not for the fame.” Ansari finds this attribute about her character to be admirable and what connects her most to the role. The song “You Are My Dream” in the second act, outlines this transition from girl to woman. Clemons (Bristol) plays “Lorrell” the third dream, who’s part is often overlooked but no less important to the arc of the play. Clemons describes her role best by stating that “[Lorrell] brings balance to the dreams and the show. She is the rock that keeps everyone together, as well as offering up comic relief.” This unified front and ‘balance’ Clemons describes is reflected in the title song, “Dreamgirls,” sung both in the beginning and end of the play.
Dreamgirls shows October 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 at 8pm and October 16, 23, 30 at 2pm on the Thomaston Opera House main stage. For more information on tickets and group sales, contact or visit the Box Office (860) 283-6250 Monday – Friday 1pm – 6pm and Saturday 1pm – 4pm @ 158 Main Street Thomaston, CT 06787. Or purchase tickets online: www.landmarkcommuntytheatre.org.