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Awakening to ‘Dreamgirls’

February 3, 2010

Published by Metro

There are a few similarities between “Dream Girls” star Syesha Mercado and her character, Deena Jones.

“Deena didn’t come from a wealthy background, she grew up in the projects. She had a big dream and loved performing,” says Mercado. “I was one of those kids.”

Another parallel: Deena gets discovered while singing in a talent competition. Mercado made it big after finishing as a runner- up in the seventh season of “American Idol.”

In the fictional saga, Deena and her 1960s girl group the Dreamettes (think Motown legends the Supremes) rise quickly to stardom — but not without music industry politics, backstabbing and heartbreak. As for Mercado’s real life story, she admits it’s full of all sorts of backstory, too.

“We all have drama,” she laughs. “That’s life.”

This “Dreamgirls” is different from the original 1981 Broadway production, and from its 2006 film adaptation, says Mercado.

“We’re telling the story with our bodies. … There are no sets — just us and the LED [light] panels. That’s a big difference.”

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