Share this article

Talent, looks and ambition – the Dreamgirls have it all. But the road to fame is rocky. Take a walk on it at the Joburg season of the Broadway musical.
THE drama, betrayal, cat fights, excitement and good music of Dreamgirls will be the talk of the theatre world in Joburg over the next two months.


The international cast of DreamgirlsThe international cast of Dreamgirls (Photo: Joan Marcus)The international award-winning Broadway production will open on 11 March at The Teatro at Montecasino. And the production has some surprises behind the curtains.

Full of onstage excitement and backstage drama, Dreamgirls tells the story of a trio of young singers, whose star is rising. It is set in the 1960s and follows the trials and tribulations that they come across on the road to fame and glory.

Deena Jones, Lorrell Robison and Effie White are performing when the ambitious Curtis Taylor Jnr recognises their talent. He offers them a job as backing singers for the soul and rock ’n roll sensation, James Early. With this, he becomes the guide to their quickly rising careers.

But Deena appears to be the star of the group because of her beauty, rather than Effie who has a full voice – and with this, the girls are brought to personal and professional crossroads.

In the local production, singer Lindiwe Bungane plays Effie White; Tracy Lee Oliver plays Deena Jones; and Candida Mosoma plays Lorrell Robison.

Auditions took place in February 2010, in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. In all, the local creative team auditioned more than 8 000 people. The international team also auditioned potential candidates in May 2010.


The Dreamgirls male ensembleThe Dreamgirls male ensemble (Photo: Joan Marcus)For the past couple of weeks, the team has been rehearsing with the cast. It is here from Broadway and is working with the local creative team, headed by Brian Schimmel. He is the man behind the productions of Chicago and Handful of Keys. Together, they have created a show with multi-talented performers who have the ability to perform in major productions across the globe.

“The core provides a platform for the development of local performers, the likes of which have not been heard in this country,” says Schimmel. “The visual design is unique to South Africa and the technology has not been seen here before. I believe that this package together with our exceptionally talented performers will bring a whole new audience to the theatre.”

Dreamgirls runs from 11 March to 22 May at The Teatro at Montecasino; show times are 8pm on Tuesdays to Fridays; 3pm and 8pm on Saturdays; and 2pm and 6pm on Sundays.

Tickets are available at Computicket, and prices vary. For the Tuesday show, they are R195; for shows on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday evening, tickets are from R120 to R350; on Saturday they are R120 to R380.

For corporate and group bookings, contact Jeanette Oosthuizen at For group hospitality packages, contact Montecasino Hospitality and Corporate Events on 011 510 7905 or

Related stories:

Joburg streets paved with gold
Market plays win Naledis
Afrikaans theatre at Promusica
Joburg: arts, culture and heritage
Events calendar