published Friday, September 16th, 2011

CCP's limited run on 'Dreamgirls' rounds up variety of Southern talent


What: "Dreamgirls."

When: Today-Oct. 14.

Where: Cumberland County Playhouse, 221 Tennessee Ave., Crossville, Tenn.

Admission: $22 adults, $21 seniors, $20 groups, $11 child/student.

Phone: 931-484-5000.


Plucking talent from Knoxville, Memphis and other places in the South, the Cumberland County Playhouse will offer the music-biz musical "Dreamgirls" in a limited run beginning today.

The show, a Tony Award-winning hit on Broadway in the early 1980s and then an Academy Award-winning 2006 movie starring Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson, portrays a fictional 1960s Motown trio similar to Diana Ross & The Supremes.

"Dreamgirls," which features songs such as "One Night Only" and "And I'm Telling You" among other Motown, rhythm-and-blues and pop favorites, runs for 12 performances through Oct. 14.

The cast includes Memphis native and longtime Knoxville resident Lar'Juanette Williams, a star of the show during its 2002 run at Knoxville's Bijou Theater; East Tennessee's Kelle Jolly as Lorrell; and LaKeta Booker as Deena, headliner of the Dreams.

Others are Cumberland County Playhouse company actor and North Carolina bass-baritone Keith McCoy as Curtis; University of Tennessee theater graduate and Nashville-area native Quinn Cason as songwriter C.C. White; and Oklahoman Michael Ruff as Marty, agent of a James Brown-style R&B star, Jimmy Early.

Early is played by Orlando's Charles Lattimore, who reprises his role in the 2002 show at the Bijou, which was produced by the Cumberland County Playhouse. Nashville's Joann Coleman, currently seen in the theater's "Chicago," portrays Michelle, a young singer who joins the Dreams when Deena takes the lead of the group.

The show, termed in a news release as "a tale of family, ambition and the triumph of true fulfillment over the lure of fame and fortune," is staged by Harry Bryce, the former artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater who also staged CCP's "Crowns" and "Ain't Misbehavin'" and the Bijou Theater "Dreamgirls" run.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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