Nov. 13—Jan. 13
Check with venue for price information.
4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA
Signature Theatre's new production of Dreamgirls is a smashing success, with a career-making performance from Nova Y. Payton as Effie, who brings down the house with a passionate rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” While Effie is not the star of the Dreams and the musical details her losses and gains, both personal and professional, Payton's performance shines brighter than all others. And the show’s tech—from Adam Koch’s impressive multitiered set, with its center-stage hydraulic elevator, to Chris Lee’s deeply layered lighting scheme, to Frank Labovitz’s lavishly over-the-top parade of increasingly spangly costumes—is as certifiably first-rate as Jon Kalbfleisch’s tight 10-piece band. Ultimately, the show is still good and not great—the lyrics haven’t all aged well, and it raises too many issues that don’t get satisfyingly sorted out—but when it’s intelligently staged, handsomely designed, and sung like the cast’s life is on the line, it’s a hell of an entertainment. (TG)