Arts preview: 'Dreamgirls'

Jim Fischer
Columbus Alive
Lisa Glover, Amber Knicole and Kat Lee in Short North Stage's “Dreamgirls.”

For the final number in her senior vocal recital at Capital University, Amber Knicole performed “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going,” from the musical “Dreamgirls.” Nearly a decade later, the MojoFlo singer is offering up the impassioned number again, this time on stage as Effie White in the Short North Stage's production of the musical.

“All love to my MojoFlo family, musical theater was my first love,” Knicole said in an interview at a Downtown coffee shop. Her first role was as Asaka in her Bedford, Massachusetts, high school production of “Once on This Island.”

While being in character is not necessarily new — Knicole said the Amber that fronts MojoFlo is someone she wishes she was as confident and brash as — returning to formal acting brought back some nerves at first. Regardless, “Dreamgirls” is a dream show and Effie a dream role for Knicole. The story deals with issues of racism and the vagaries of the music industry, both of which she is familiar with.

“I very rarely find myself in a cast of all people of color,” she said. “Most times I'm the only chip in the cookie, so to speak.”

Garden Theater

Oct. 26 through Nov. 19

1187 N. High St., Short North