Dreamgirls: Do believe the hype
Apologies for my long silence, but I’ve been out enjoying the city. Since they passed that law banning trans fats from restaurant fare by 2008, I’ve been on a suicide mission to gobble as much chow while these establishments can legally admit me. But I’ve also seen a couple films. Borat is a hoot and a half which I had to watch twice. Sick and smart and uproariously funny, don’t miss this one! I know I’m a little late on this review, but I’m early on the next.
I caught Dreamgirls last night at a special screening for industry big wigs at The William Morris Agency. As a part-time janitor there, I was able to sneak in for several of the big scenes. Though that’s a lie, there were several notables there, including the author of Midnight In The Garden of Good And Evil, Henry Krieger, who composed both the original score and the new tracks, and Anika Noni Rose, who is fab as the ditzy Dreamgirl Lorell Robinson.
Hollywood got this one right. They waited a long time for the film version of this musical, and this one’s worth the wait. It’s exciting, with tons of performances, costumes, sets, and lights. It’s a visual treat with a great story which doesn’t lag for a second. The casting is super, and Jennifer Hudson, who does the Jennifer Holliday role, is a joy and she steals the film, in her very first acting role! She’s just unbelievably sassy with a great set of pipes. No, she can’t touch J-Ho, but who can? I’d forgotten how fun the other tunes in the show were, and Eddie Murphy has a few bombastic moments, too. Keith Robinson as the songwriter C.C. White is very appealing and sings well. I’ll be getting the soundtrack.
As C.C., Keith Robinson sings one moving song called Family. I asked a show queen how Diane Ross felt about Dreamgirls, since the plot is essentially based on her career. Apparently, she was livid over the film and there was a well-publicized incident where Jennifer Holliday entered a resaurant that La Ross was dining in and Diana walked at the sight of her. (As did the kitchen staff! Just warming up!) But then Diana surprised everyone by singing Family at her Central Park concert. And that’s why it rained!