Hickory – The second of two romantic subplots in HCT’s Dreamgirls involves the clandestine relationship between the outrageous, and married, blues singer Jimmy Early and Lorell, one of the three Dreams, the central girl group in the show. Dreamgirls is the opening production of the Hickory Community Theatre’s 70th season, and performances begin on September 7th.
The show is about how R&B music became mainstream and the characters in it mirror some real life music stars. Jimmy Early is an analogue to James Brown and Lorell’s group, The Dreams, are based on The Supremes. Lorell herself somewhat represents Mary Wilson. In the Hickory production Donovan Harper is Jimmy Early and Rayanna Dickens plays Lorell.
Dickens is a newcomer to HCT. When asked why she chose to audition she said, “I adore this show and my mom and my brother both had great experiences here.” She studied at Appalachian State University and lives with her husband Alan in Boone. Her previous stage experience includes playing Gingy in Shrek the Musical, a production for which she was also the makeup artist. She currently works for Mast General Store but is also an aspiring writer who is nearing completion on her first novel.
Harper is a very familiar face with local audiences, Dreamgirls is his thirteenth show at HCT in the past five years. He made his debut in Willy Wonka Jr. in 2013 as the iconic candy maker and his most recent role was Coalhouse Walker in Ragtime. He said he enjoys HCT because of both the work and the education. He has performed with other local companies including The Green Room in Newton and Foothills Performing Arts in Hudson. It was at the latter theatre where he received the Willy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Horton the Elephant in Suessical.
Performances of Dreamgirls are on Fridays and Saturdays (Sep 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 & 22) at 8:00pm, Thursdays (Sep 13 & 20) at 7:30pm and Sundays (Sep 16 & 23) at 2:30pm.
Tickets for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students and youth 18 & under. Thursday night tickets for adults and seniors are $16, students and children are $10.
Tickets are on sale online at hickorytheatre.org or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Friday.
HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The Theatre’s 2018-2019 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. Dreamgirls is produced by Shurtape.
PHOTO: Donovan Harper is Jimmy Early and Rayanna Dickens is Lorell in Dreamgirls. The Motown style musical plays in the Jeffers Theatre September 7-23 at the Hickory Community Theatre. Visit www.hickorytheatre.org or call (828) 328-2283 for tickets and information. Photo by John Koval.