Monteze Freeland is excited to be portraying Curtis Taylor Jr. in Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s rendition of “Dreamgirls.”
“I was introduced to ‘Dreamgirls’ in middle school when I received the cast album for Christmas and truly changed my artistry. It was glamorous and lush. Then in high school, the full concert version came out, which blew my mind because I didn’t know there was so much music left out of the original cast album. I never saw myself as Curtis, ironically my dream role in the show is Marty—played expertly in our production by Jason Shavers—but that I’m in Curtis’ shoes I have to say he’s a very complex man who likes to keep me up all night.”
“Dreamgirls,” which will run at the Byham Theater through Sunday, March 19, tells the story of hopeful starlets Deena Jones, Effie White and Lorrell Robinson as the Dreamettes when ambitious manager Curtis discovers them and lands the girls a gig as back-up singers to charismatic singer James “Thunder” Early. Early molds the impressionable girls rising career. Jones and White fight when Jones is chosen as the Dreamettes lead singer due to her attractiveness instead of the full-figured White and the group’s dreams of stardom begin to disentangle almost before it began.
The fascination with “Dreamgirls” began on Broadway in the 1980s on Broadway starring Jennifer Holliday as Effie to the 2000s movie version that featured Beyonce as Jones and Jennifer Hudson as White.
Freeland promises that PMT’s production of the iconic musical will resonate with audiences. The theater’s Bob Durkin uses his past experience working with the show’s original creators to help the Pittsburgh cast understand the “Dreamgirls” characters.