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Dreamgirls is a Broadway musical, with music by Henry Krieger and lyrics and book by Tom Eyen. Based on the show business aspirations and successes of R&B acts such as The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown, Jackie Wilson and others, the musical follows the story of a young female singing trio from Chicago, Illinois called “The Dreams,” who become music superstars. The Broadway production opened in 1981 and was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning 6 including Best Musical and Best Book. Dreamgirls garnered a 1983 US tour, a 1985 international tour, and a 1987 Broadway revival, along with additional tours through 2016. In 2006, it was adapted into a motion picture from Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures.

Peoria Players is proud to bring this spectacular musical back for its 100th season. A favorite musical among its patrons, Dreamgirls was performed originally at Peoria Players in 1990 and again in 2008. Lisa Voyles, director of our current production, is a retired District 150 K-4 teacher. She also had an after school drama club for 34 years with the Peoria Park District. Lisa also served and directed for Community Children’s Theatre for over 30 years. She fell in love with theatre as a child and has tried to share that love with her students.

This particular cast was selected prior to Christmas. There are 20 cast members. Some you will be familiar with from other productions in Peoria, but many are first-timers to community theatre. They each have brought with them their own experiences and talents. Some are engineers, deacons, pre-school teachers, Army veterans, administrative specialists, students and accountants. What they all have in common is their passion and love for this production. Their dedication, hours of work and rehearsals have paid off.

This show is a tribute to all of the African-American artists that have overcome obstacles and have had to work hard to find success in the music industry. You will be thoroughly entertained by the cast, the music, the energetic dance numbers, the spectacular costumes and lighting, and a live orchestra. With music direction by Jennifer Shaw and choreography by Nyk Sutter-Downs, this production will dazzle you!  Costumer Sue McGrew and her crew have been working for an entire year creating the glamorous costumes you’ll see in this show. The cast includes LaTaisha Howell as Effie, Michelle Watson as Deena, Mary Irby-Moore as Lorrell, Jzayla Porter as Michelle, Ronnie Hudson II as Curtis, Vance Jordan as Jimmy Early, Tryston Rhodes as C.C. White, Bryson Kramer as Marty, along with cast members Valerie Kelley, Anita Foster, Asia Harris, Harold Smith, John Ferrell, Larry Russell, Jeremiah Noar, Mark Armstrong, Dayshona Hardimon, CC Buckner, Mariah Harris, Amber Jackson and Tameka Mason.  The James Early Band, which is also our featured live onstage orchestra, includes Conductor Heather Maughan, Greg Zobac, Blake Markum, Maggie Sloter, Aleta Hoff, Maura Shepherd, Joey Davidson, Walter Lewis, Richard Diepenbrock and Joe Tuerk.

Performances include March 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 pm, with 2:00 matinees on March 10 and 17. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for those 20 and younger. For reservations, call 309-688-4473 or visit

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