(Hedy Weiss’ article appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, 4/14.)
Warning: There is a cast on fire at Stage 773, where Porchlight Music Theatre is presenting such a blazing revival of “Dreamgirls” that you really have to wonder why the name of each and every one of its stellar performers (led by the show-stopping Donica Lynn, Eric Lewis and Evan Tyrone Martin), as well as its director-choreographer Brenda Didier, and music director Doug Peck, is not on a Broadway marquee. But forget Broadway. This is unadulterated Chicago brilliance at work, and the talent on hand for this volcanic production threatens to blow the roof off the place.
The combination of rocket-force voices, eye-popping acrobatic dance moves, full-force storytelling and feverish emotional chemistry — from first beat to last — is thrilling. And at Tuesday’s opening it all generated a sustained (and richly deserved) standing ovation the likes of which I haven’t seen in a Chicago theater in a very long time.