Majeste Pearson agreed. “That song, it just gets to folks,” she said. “The first time I heard it, I just connected with the character of Effie, because so many of us have gone through something like that, and have had those kind of feelings.”
Kubbi and Pearson, however, have been cast as the other two members of the Dreams. Pearson, who starred in Theatre Tulsa’s production of “Ragtime” and was a contestant on the reality series “The Four,” plays Deena Jones, the sleek, ambitious singer determined to rise from the concert stage to the silver screen.
Kubbi, a New York City-based actor and director whose career has included performing at the Grand Ole Opry, The Apollo Theatre, Caroline’s on Broadway, The Producer’s Club and New York’s Public Theatre, portrays Lorrell, whose efforts to hold the Dreams together often go unappreciated.
DeVon Douglass, who served as chief resilience officer for the City of Tulsa for several years, has the role of Effie in Theatre Tulsa’s production, which opens Oct. 8 at the Tulsa PAC. But her introduction to “Dreamgirls’” signature song took a more circuitous path.
“I saw a film called ‘Camp,’ about kids attending a musical theater camp, and one of the characters sang that song,” she recalled. “And I remember telling my auntie about this incredible song that I was certain she had never heard before. She just looked at me and said, ‘Girl, you don’t know what you’re talking about.’ She got out her record of the musical, and said I had better listen to this.