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Karyn McNay
IU Auditorium

Last modified: Monday, April 15, 2013

Motown scholar's lectures bring depth to 'Dreamgirls' performances at IU Auditorium

WHAT: "Dreamgirls"
WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, and Wednesday, April 24
WHERE: IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St. in Bloomington
TICKETS: $20 to $41 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID and $38 to $62 for general public, on sale now. Tickets may be purchased online at and in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, as well as through, all Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

April 15, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Motown scholar Charles E. Sykes will give free public lectures before two 8 p.m. performances of the award-winning Broadway musical "Dreamgirls" at IU Auditorium.


"Dreamgirls" will take the stage April 23 and 24 at IU Auditorium.

Print-Quality Photo

An adjunct professor in the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Sykes is director of the African American Arts Institute. Since 1995, he's taught what's believed to be the first for-credit college course on Berry Gordy's iconic Motown Record Corp., home to major crossover groups like the Supremes whose musical success helped change the face of a segregated nation.

Before both performances, Sykes will speak at 6:30 p.m. April 23 and 24 in Woodburn 100. He'll discuss the history of Motown and how it is represented by the musical, as well as address some of the larger relevant social issues of the era.

The musical's storyline follows the Dreamettes, a singing trio of best friends, on their journey from obscurity to stardom. Relationships are challenged when their manager has slender Deena replace full-figured lead singer Effie, who is then altogether ousted when Michelle Morris is hired.

"Dreamgirls" debuted on Broadway in 1981. The original production won five Drama Desk Awards, two Grammy Awards and six Tony Awards, including the Tony for Best Musical. In 2006, a film adaptation of "Dreamgirls" starred Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx. Continuing the musical's themes of prejudice, greed and chasing dreams, the film won two Academy Awards.

"'Dreamgirls' is the perfect balance of eye-popping visual effects, roof-raising vocal performances and a whirlwind story," IU Auditorium director Doug Booher said. "Witnessing this outstanding Motown musical is an amazing experience no music lover should miss, and Dr. Sykes' pre-show talks will only add to the appreciation and understanding of the role this type of music has played in America's musical lexicon."

For more information on "Dreamgirls" and the rest of the 2012-13 season, visit The website features video clips and a selection of songs from this season's performances, in addition to a direct link to the IU Auditorium Facebook and Twitter pages, whose followers receive exclusive benefits throughout the year.

"Dreamgirls" at IU Auditorium is sponsored by BKD, Lamar and Nature's Way. IU Auditorium's 2012-13 season is presented by Curry Auto Center, B97, The Herald-Times and IU Residential Programs and Services.