Reviewing the 1981 premiere of “Dreamgirls,” critic Frank Rich wrote, “When Broadway history is being made, you can feel it.” To paraphrase him, when Equity-waiver history is being made, it can feel you.
Case in point: the just-extended revival at the MET Theatre. Despite some quirks, in its sheer audience-pleasing regard this red-hot DOMA Theatre Company take on Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger’s Tony-winning landmark is an incandescent watershed for both troupe and Los Angeles.
Director Marco Gomez and his ace forces have inventively reconceived Michael Bennett’s celebrated original staging. The action places musical director Chris Raymond’s superb band alongside designer Amanda Lawson’s two-tiered set, which serves the property’s sprawling, R&B near-opera needs, aided by Johnny Ryman’s resourceful lighting and our proximity to a marvelous cast.
As full-figured, big-voiced, ego-driven Effie, stellar Constance Jewell Lopez proves that not even the Jennifers -- Holliday and Hudson -- can own a role forever. She and Jennifer Colby Talton’s lovely Deena and Tyra Dennis’ mercurial Lorrell are rawer, less archetypal than usual, and that makes their trek the more believable.