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‘Dreamgirls’ opens at Springer Opera House

Director says "Dreamgirls" is for dreamers

Keith Patrick McCoy, director and choreographer for the Springer Opera House production of "Dreamgirls," describes the musical as a story for everyone who "has a longing."
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Keith Patrick McCoy, director and choreographer for the Springer Opera House production of "Dreamgirls," describes the musical as a story for everyone who "has a longing."

Are you a dreamer?

If so, check out “Dreamgirls” at the Springer Opera House.

“This show is for dreamers. It is for anyone who has ever had a dream and who wants to be more than what they are and sees further than what is right in front of them,” said Keith McCoy. “It is about the dreamer within all of us.”

McCoy is director and choreographer for the show that opens Friday and runs through Oct. 8. He is also part of the cast.

The Broadway production of the musical won six Tony Awards. The popular film version won two Academy Awards.

The show is about a time in American musical history when rhythm and blues blended with other styles of popular music creating a new American sound. It is based on the show business stories of Motown and soul legends such as The Supremes, The Shirelles and James Brown.

Dreamgirls follows the story of a girl group which rises from amateur competitions to stardom.

“It is a story of passion, love and heartache,” said Shena Renee, who plays the lead character Effie White, one of the group’s members. “It is a story about regaining your strength and learning to love yourself.”

This is the first time for the Atlanta native to appear at the Springer a place she called “interesting” and “beautiful.”

Renee has performed at the famous Apollo Theater in New York City. She won a singing competition there. She has opened on tour for Steve Harvey and sang backup for gospel singers Kim Burrell and Vashawn Mitchell. Renee recently finished working alongside Jennifer Lopez and Viola Davis in the new film “Lila And Eve.”

Playing the character Deena Jones, believed to have been based on Diana Ross, is Sarita Nash who is also making her Springer debut. A native of New York, she has performed around the country in shows such as “Sister Act,” “Hairspray,” and “Big River.”

Playing the main antagonist in Dreamgirls, Curtis Taylor Jr., is Ish Harris, the voice instructor at Company C Academy of Dance and the Liberty Theatre. Harris was a featured soloist at the Miss Georgia Pageant and appeared at the Springer in “Sister Act.”

Both McCoy and Renee called the cast “amazing.”

“I know they auditioned for me, but I did not pick them. They were given to me as a gift. I could not ask for a better cast,” said McCoy, a Virginia native, who is directing his first Springer show. He has performed several roles on the Springer stage including Inspector Jalvert in “Les Miserables.” He has acted and directed in numerous places nationally.

McCoy is excited to directing this show and was thrilled that Paul Pierce, the Springer’s producing artistic director, chose him to do so.

“It tells me what he thinks of me as an artist,” McCoy said.

Larry Gierer: 706-571-8581, @lagierer

Want to go

What: Dreamgirls, an award winning musical.

Where: Springer Opera House, 10th Street in Columbus

When: Shows at 7:30 p.m. will be Sept 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, Oct. 5, 6, 7. Sunday matinees at2:30 p.m. will be Sept. 24, Oct. 1, 8.

Cost: Tickets ranges from $20 - $48. There are discounts available for seniors, educators, military and public safety workers.

Box Office: The Springer Box Office is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. It is also open two hours before any show. For ticket information call 706-327-3688 or visit www.springeroperahouse.org/.

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