Bethesda Little Theatre presents an original musical revue featuring songs that represent the soul of Broadway. Explore the emotion, heart, and rhythm of Broadway through songs from The Wiz, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, RENT, and more! Don’t miss your chance to laugh, cry, and dance to songs by Michael Jackson, the Temptations, and Tina Turner. The Soul of Broadway, runs June 9, 10, and 11 at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center. (For tickets and more information click here: blt-online.org or call 202-796-3431.)
In our blog series “Inside the Numbers” we take you backstage with the performers to discuss a sampling of the songs they’ll be presenting; today we’re going to explore the title song from “Dreamgirls,” focusing on the fictional Motown group the Dreams— famously inspired by the Supremes.
Have you seen the movie or the musical? What did you think of the story/music?
CAROLYN: I have seen the movie. I absolutely loved it. I sang it so much when I was younger on repeat. I particularly love “stepping to the bad side” very soulful and fast paced. The story is quite captivating particularly seeing how African American music was being stolen by Caucasian people and the impact that it had on groups trying to make it in the music business
BRETT: I saw the movie a long time ago. The music is incredible and really captures the feel of the Supremes! I wish I could have seen Jennifer Holiday and Sheryl Lee Ralph in the original Broadway cast.
KARAM: I have seen the movie many times and thought it was amazingly well done. I thought it was such a sad story for Effie White, the main character, but the music/singing/dancing was incredible.
Dreamgirls highlights the cost of ambition within an industry in which race and gender shape opportunities and expectations for artists, producers, and consumers. How does this resonate with your life experiences?
BRETT: I’m lucky to live with a lot of privilege but have faced sexism in my life. It can be frustrating and infuriating.
CAROLYN: I do feel to be a musical theatre artist you have to work extremely hard. There is a lot of competition which is definitely shown in the story of Dreamgirls. it is difficult to face rejection whether it be you simply weren’t a fit for the show or your skills weren’t up to snuff in the directors opinion. You just have to get on up and try again, rehone your craft. It is fantastic that musical theatre is becoming more open to all people and we are hearing more interesting stories and perspectives because of it.
What dream would you like to come true, for yourself or others?
BRETT: My dream is for us all to offer one another compassion and understanding. You never know what another person may be facing in their life.
KARAM: A dream of mine is to live in a world in which pursuing singing and dancing and JOY is more viable for more people!
CAROLYN: My dream is for all people to have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. My personal dream is to share my voice and creativity throughout my life as it gives joy to myself, others, and most importantly, it tells a story.