Dreamgirls... back in Atlanta


Well if you were paying attention this past May I made a post entitled Poor Little Jennifer which was about Jennifer Holiday's return to the stage as Effie in the National Black Arts Festival's production of Dreamgirls. Well the show has been running for about a week and of course I wasn't going to spend my $40 to go see it but a good friend and blog reader did and sent me this review via email.


Me and Chris went to see Dreamgirls this past Saturday at the Fox and boy did you miss a show. From the time the curtains went up and Move, Move came on I knew this show was going to be nothing but comedy. Jennifer Holiday, the girl from En Vogue and some other chick took to the stage. When I tell you it looked like I was at the Jungle on Monday night, because those women looked like they were ready for the drag show. I have been to several Broadway shows and understand that the makeup and face expressions are supposed to be a little over dramatized but baby when I tell you Niesha Dupree ain't have nothing on Jen. Now I will say Jen belted out most of her tunes and got quite a few standing ovations but as you can imagine And I am Telling you was way over the top.... and her I am Changing was ummm a mess. Nothing about these 4 women trying to play young women just starting off was believeable at all. Anyway the show overall was ok, I think most people enjoyed it.

So maybe I will reconsider and check this out before it leaves Sunday... I could use a good laugh or 2.

14 comments:

Cocoa Rican said...

Should really be a treat, since most of you young bloggers weren't even a thought when the original was on Broadway. Jen Holliday is an icon...the voice is timeless.

ReddMann said...

please dont start all this whining about her being an icon.

we all accept that she was phenomenal as the original effie. and don't deny that. never have said anything other than that.

and for the record my friend that sent the email is well in his 30s.

Andre J. Allen II said...

amen red u tell rican. Jen is pass her time, time to pass the torch. We gave her, her credit now its time for her to move on

celeste said...

just because jennifer was great at what she did doesnt make her above any criticism.

micheal jackson, john f kennedy, even jesus faced it... and she is definitely no better.

cocoa get over it.

lj said...

Um I didn't wan to mean...but when I heard about the play I started calling it the Golden Girls Edition...I mean aren't the characters supposed to be around 18?

Valentino said...

My roommate was talking to some of the chorus/dance members one night and they told him not to see the show until around the end of its run because apparently right now...its not at its best...and if the people who are in the show are saying that, well then...

KennonPurdy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It was a rainy night in Georgia. A literal downpour. Rainy skies are not, NABF's production of Dreamgirls is a downpour of another kind. Or maybe it is the rainbow after the storm. One has to suspend one's sense of reality and sit back and enjoy what the production has to offer. We all know the story... Teenager girls dream of being stars and set out on that path. They meet a Svengali like mentor who changes their look, sound and some would say drains "the essence and flava" from the group. It is a modern day story of Pygmalion, My Fair Lady and Gypsy and a few other literary works all rolled up together and black faced. We all know Miss Holliday is not a 17 year old girl and neither are her co-stars Cindy Herron-Braggs (En Vogue) and Brandi C. Massey. That aside, they make us believe they are Effie, Deena and Lorrell. The packed house was there for one reason and one reason only... Miss Holliday. From her first moment on stage to her last, she is the production and she gives you that "bang for your buck." For $65.00, you ought to go home with something to remember, a lasting memory. She is the "LION THAT ROARED." Miss Holliday is that rare performer who comes along a few times in a century and leaves an indelible mark on the art. Ethel Merman, Judy Garland and I would say Patti Lapone are the others this century. Sista Audra McDonald may be the next. When she sings and she sings like no one else, people are moved. The building moves. In the opening bars of the signature song "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going", people could not contain themselves or their emotional responses to "that song", the song which has defined Miss Holliday's career and lately as she has said, her life. "That song" is an anthem and Miss Holliday's delivery is not pretty nor should it be. It is gut and heart wrenching. She is a woman is in pain... as she says "I got pain" in the lead up to it. She has lost her man, her friends, her livelihood and doesn't know where life is taking her. She has hit rock bottom but she is defiant. "You're gonna love me." And we do.

At times, in the production, Miss Holliday's involvement seems to be labored. She misses a dance step or two; her posture is less than regal. Her clothes ill fitting, unflattering and ugly. She seems to be trying to find her footing in the production numbers (and maybe in other ways we don't know). But find her footing, she does. This Dreamgirls has been changed to mirror the movie (for better or worse). Magic (Effie's daughter) is mentioned not seen, Deena's mother dies and there are a few other minor changes. Some of the production values (costumes) are less than Broadway caliber. Somebody should fire Miss Holliday's costumer, the outfits in the first act should be burned, that is if you can burn polyester.

Standouts in the production... Eugene Fleming as James "Thunder" Early. Eddie Murphy ain't got nothin' on him. David Jennings as Curtis. Cold as Ice. Smooth delivery. Cindy Herron Briggs... Beautiful. Voice like a bird but she was in En Vogue (those girls could "sang").

So for one "last time" Jennifer Holliday is Effie. My mood had improved slightly at the conclusion of the performance. My friends and coworkers keep asking " You OK?". I wasn't but I gotta " keep on, keepin on." As I left the theater, I thought about Effie and Celie from the Color Purple . Celine tells Mister "Everything you done to me, I already done to you." In a way, Effie says the same thing to Curtis and she adds "But this time, “ Effie White’s Gonna Win." I have to remember that the next time I am feeling down or beat down... “This time Terence Is Gonna Win.”
By the way... I love your BLOG.
http://360.yahoo.com/negrodisiac

Cocoa Rican said...

Yo Red I wasn't whining... I simply said many of the young bloggers missed catchin' the original first-hand.
She's an icon and her voice is timeless... no whining there either.
Loosen up kid.

ReddMann said...

negrodisiac thank you for posting your experience at the show I appreciate that.

colinnyc said...

cocoa u are the one that needs to lighten up any time someone mentions something about jennifer you get all bent out of shape and go into you young people dont know... who cares

Red RUBY said...

Hey guys i've been dying to hear some feed back about this show and reviews for this production. As i won't be able to see it being in london, it's cool to see that it's creating some heated debates, comcerning whats warrents a good threate production and peformance and what doesn't. The girl on the far right playing loreel is my very close mate brandy massey who i had the pleasure of performing in the Lion king in London. She is a great peformer it's just a shame that now with a movie version out comparisons are so easily made.

reddmann love your sight.x

Corey Keith said...

I am glad you covered this.. I am tellin you, I aint going.. unless I get some free tickets!

Kensilo said...

Corey .. LOL I feel the same way. I am glad that she is getting some great reviews.