18 December, 2006

And I Am Telling You

(I do not care for this song)

Dreamgirls is one of the musicals I've never been able to get really excited about....right up there with Little Shop of Horrors and Starlight Express. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard the soundtrack to Dreamgirls prior to today. My brother, on the other hand, seems to love it. (That's okay...he can have Dg and I'll take Fiddler.)

Anyway, since the movie's out, everyone is talking about the show,and referencing the one show-stopping number, so I figured I should listen to it at least once. I've now played it through a couple of times, and really don't care for it.

For a better modern Broadway showstopper, I've got my money on Good Morning, Baltimore.


At 2:20 PM, December 18, 2006, Blogger dolphin said...

They turned Dreamgirls into a movie?

Geez, I know I've been really busy but not sure how I missed that.

Anyways, I like the song alright myself, though the show itself is far from my favorite. I'll still porbably check out the movie when it comes out on DVD.

At 3:50 PM, December 18, 2006, Blogger Alicia Benjamin-Samuels said...

Nobody will ever be able to sing "And I am Telling You" as well as Jennifer Holiday. I don't know why they even tried. They should have just lipsynched to Jennifer's version.

At 4:11 PM, December 18, 2006, Blogger P. K. Nail said...

I think it's a rather cool look at the evolution of pop music through the 60s and 70s. That particular song, I think, is more effective in the context of the story--hang on...

Gah. I'm listening to the video you linked now, and I like Holliday's original version - and the movie version - much better. This one seems very much like a diva who had a great performance once upon a time and is trying to milk it and "improve" on it as much as possible. Which I guess is what it is.

Anyway, like I said, in the context of the story and with the emotion of the character behind it, it's an amazing number - as are most of the songs in the show. Here's the performance she gave at the Tony Awards the year after the show first came out. More context, and the actress had more to prove. (And didn't feel the need for so many vocal embellishments :P)

At 4:37 PM, December 18, 2006, Anonymous tom said...

PK is right. The Tony award performance is way better. It's on my livejournal from a few weeks ago.

Good Morning Baltimore is not really a show stopper. It looks like it's at the beginning of the act, so it's automatically disqualified in my book. It's a decent song, but it has nowhere near the gravitas of the original Tony Award performance.

I like Fiddler as well, but dreamgirls is an oddessey. I think it came out right at the time that American Theater was on its last legs in the 1980s before broadway was taken over by Cats and Phantom.
I think it's also interesting because it was running while Diana Ross still had a career, of sorts and it was largely considered a fictionalized account of the Rise of the Supremes. Because the Diana Ross /Dena Jones character is kind of the villain, I think it alienated its prospective audience.

Now a new generation has taken up the story, which I think is good because it's not just the story about the Supremes, but about the early African American Music industry and how it became so powerful that it transcended race, but eventually folded in on itself. It's only an okay love story, but the score and fable are powerful enough to give it staying power.

I am still leery about the movie, but I may con Chad into going to it sometime this week.

At 7:56 AM, December 19, 2006, Blogger newscoma said...

I guess I'm behind the times, Kat.
I have no idea if I've ever even heard a song from DreamGirls.

At 3:05 PM, December 19, 2006, Blogger Patrick said...

I like all of Ryan Stiles's show stopping numbers.


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