Serving up this steaming pile of
Celebrity Gossip
Gay Politics
Gay News
and Pointless Bitchery
Since 1995

Sensational: Jennifer Holliday's final night in "Dreamgirls" caught on audio..from 1982..

Great Great Thrilling and theres tons of other audio clips on this channel as well. Really rare Stritch, Peters, Liza...really odd stuff

by Anonymousreply 4109/12/2013

I have heard her an others sing this song many times. But, baby baby, not like this. Wow and thanks for posting.

by Anonymousreply 108/24/2013

It's funny how connected to the words Holliday was when she sang, but when she had to speak her acting ability disappeared.

by Anonymousreply 208/24/2013

Totally agree with [2]. I was living in LA when Dreamgirls came to town with her in the starring role. It was like buying a lottery ticket as to whether she would show up or not. 90% she was a no-show. For those of us lucky enough to see her, we were blown away when she sang. But when she opened her mouth to act...crickets.

by Anonymousreply 308/24/2013

Well, she hasn't had much to do since....

by Anonymousreply 408/24/2013

That's interesting R3 because last time I saw it (which was the first time, with Holliday on Broadway) Dreamgirls was sung-through.

I just think the qualities that make her electrifying as a singer made her acting seem coarse. I mean, imagine possessing all that vocal energy, passion and sound and then approaching a line of dialogue with it. She's a performer, not a trained actress. It's the singing that excites and arouses her, not delivering a line of dialogue.

by Anonymousreply 508/24/2013


It's not about vocal energy or an energy surplus. Check out her "Curtis was supposed to love. me." on the Tonys as an example. Her line readings don't convince, unlike her lyric readings.

by Anonymousreply 608/24/2013

Yes R6, I'm sure you would've had more success with her as an acting coach than Michael Bennett did, you're such a genius.

How's your acting career, btw? Still in existence?

by Anonymousreply 708/24/2013


Acting coaches, or directors for that matter, can't work miracles. The performer has to meet them halfway.

Did Hal Prince get a good acting performance out of Sarah Brightman?

by Anonymousreply 808/24/2013

Lilias White was my favorite Effie. Yes, I saw Holiday. Over the top in her singing and underwhelming in her acting. White sang the shit out of it and had a vulnerability that broke your heart.

by Anonymousreply 908/24/2013

Was "I Am Telling You" the last time a Broadway showtune became a mainstream hit that you heard on the radio? I think that was really the end of that era.

by Anonymousreply 1008/24/2013

Here's White from 1987. There's also a video of her from 1983 on the same channel but it's not as good.

by Anonymousreply 1108/24/2013

I fucking love her voice. No one sings this the way she can and did. I'm just sad she was on broadway years before I was old enough to go.

by Anonymousreply 1208/24/2013

R10, though it climbed to No. 22 I think in the Billboard singles chart, I don't think it got a lot of mainstream radio airplay. It probably had significant airplay on black stations.

I was growing up in Detroit at the time and I know the Dreamgirls OBC recording was like No. 7 in the album charts in that market for a while when it was first released.

Later in the decade, Memory charted as a single with Streisand's version and several versions of I Dreamed A Dream have charted since then. Did Rent spawn any singles at the peak of it's popularity? Prior to Dreamgirls, what was the previous B'way musical to spawn a chart hit? Hair?

And R8, you completely missed my point in re-stating your own. I'm talking about what excites Holliday as a performer, what the physical sensation of actually being her in the throes of performing that song must feel like; I seriously doubt the opportunity to deliver a line of dialogue in Dreamgirls hardly compares. Great performers don't just perform for the audience, as if it were only a sense of duty for them, they enjoy the physical sensation and release it affords them. It's safe to say Holliday's favourite mode of performance is raw abandon not precise acting technique.

by Anonymousreply 1308/24/2013


Great performers also tell the WHOLE story. Their concentration and commitment lasts from curtain up to curtain down.

I think you're missing my point actually.

by Anonymousreply 1408/24/2013

This sort of performance leaves me cold. And Jennifer Hudson's is the same. Lots of manufactured, totally self-involved drama. She's working so hard and I'm feeling so little.

Both Holliday and Hudson have had skimpy careers except for this role. That's something to consider.

by Anonymousreply 1508/24/2013

A man is not gay unless he knows the 1982 Dreamgirls album by heart (and every gay man I know does). This album is the quintessential musical statement for the gay male. I worship it.

by Anonymousreply 1608/24/2013

r15 likes obscure lesbians who play acoustic guitars, I'm sure.

by Anonymousreply 1708/24/2013

[quote]A man is not gay unless he knows the 1982 Dreamgirls album by heart.

Old Mary!

by Anonymousreply 1808/24/2013

Gawd, it's really an awful song. I saw the original, and the production was unparalleled, but on second looks, the score isn't great. I am SO tired of this played out barn burner of a song! Over the top, ugly and trust me, it was so over-hyped there was no way not to fall in line.

I think it's a :forced drama" moment and a pretty hard to take performance. The fact that it became the ONLY song Ms. Hudson would ever be asked to sing in public for the next 30 years is creepy and sort of sad. I don't care if I ever hear it again.

by Anonymousreply 1908/24/2013

She sings fat.

by Anonymousreply 2008/24/2013

I liked "One Night Only" more.

by Anonymousreply 2108/24/2013

[quote] This album is the quintessential musical statement for the gay male who is loud, tacky and mistakes spectacle for style and taste.

There, fixed that for you.

by Anonymousreply 2208/24/2013

R14, I sense that your experience of performance is mostly theoretical, since you're only capable of illustrating it in such rigid terms.

In relation to Dreamgirls, Jennifer Holliday is "the whole story." She's the only reason people are still talking about it over three decades later. When she left the show in Boston in the pre-Broadway tryout, Bennett made concessions and met her demands that her character have "a second act" and an upbeat ending. Holliday's personal character, her comings and goings, her tumultuous, tempestuous relationship with the show's creators informed and shaped the entire show. No matter who is playing Effie Melody White, they could only be second best to Jennifer Holliday because they're playing Jennifer Holliday.

Musical theatre is full of performers who gave electrifying musical performances but were only so-so actors - Merman in Gypsy, Stephanie Mills in The Wiz, come to mind - and the form itself allows for that because characters in musicals, not surprisingly, come to life in song.

You still haven't even acknowledged an understanding of my original point but I think that's because you haven't a clue what I'm talking about. You have this idea that acting and/or performance is some kind of schematic discipline that demands heroic feats of uninterrupted concentration, among other theoretical components which, frankly, is the sort of thing people who mostly talk about acting, rather than actually doing it, sound like.

by Anonymousreply 2308/24/2013

It's a shame that Sheryl Lee Ralph's performance was overshadowed by all of the attention showered on Holiday. Ralph was pitch perfect as Deena. A little bit of Diana thrown in but not too much. Loretta Devine was pretty much ignored yet, today, she's got a great career going as a character actress and her cameo in the Dreamgirls was the highlight for me.

by Anonymousreply 2408/31/2013


I didn't respond because I didn't see your reply.

[quote] the form itself allows for that because characters in musicals, not surprisingly, come to life in song.

Yes, but there's also dialogue. Merman may not have been the best actor but she could act. The GYPSY bootleg demonstrates that conclusively.

My point (I seem to have to reiterate it) is simply that Holliday can't seem to act AT ALL outside of a song, which I find disappointing. I'm not saying she's a no talent - her original Tony's performance was electrifying during the song.

I'm not trying to deny or undermine your own experience or opinion of Holliday, I'm simply giving mine.

As for performance "heroism". It's really quite simple: a good performance facilitates audience belief in character and story. If the audience stops believing, something is wrong in the storytelling, and performance may be one of the areas at fault.

by Anonymousreply 2508/31/2013


Agreed. Sheryl Lee Ralph was perfection. So beautiful. Almost doll-like.

by Anonymousreply 2608/31/2013

I saw Sheryl Lee Ralph at an airport in North Carolina and she was simply stunning in person and this was only a few years back. She let me go ahead of her at the security thing cause she had lots of stuff. She was a total sweetheart.

It is odd that Sheryl and Loretta have both had pretty decent careers playing all kinds of characters, but Jennifer has only been playing the same character for 30 years. Didn't she just play Effie at another venue this year? Yikes. That's kinda sad. It's one thing to still sing a song in a concert all the time or do an anniversary performance, but to still be playing the same role 30 years ago is kinda weird. Well, I guess Carol Channing did it, but Dolly's always been kinda ageless. A 50/60 year old Effie just makes the whole show kinda depressing.

by Anonymousreply 2708/31/2013

[quote] A 50/60 year old Effie just makes the whole show kinda depressing.

Not if the audience are a football field away from the performer.

by Anonymousreply 2808/31/2013

I used to wait on Ben Harney and his wife in the 80s, when I worked at Ernie's. He was a great looking guy with a huge butt! I think he's gay. He and his wife were gracious and delightfully modest people.

by Anonymousreply 2908/31/2013

Met Jennifer Holliday a few years back. She was quite the diva and although she has raised a lot of money for AIDS charities, she did not want to socialize with the group of gay men I performed with. It was a job and she was all about the money.

I can see why she has never really got beyond the role.

by Anonymousreply 3008/31/2013

I saw Holliday do Dreamgirls at The Muny last year. I was expecting a train wreck; she was thrilling. The tempos were a bit slower than the album, but she was galvanizing. It was so worth the trip. The whole production was great. She still has it. Why did they cancel Atlanta?

by Anonymousreply 3108/31/2013

R6, I've always loathed her line reading of "Lorrell, where's my dress?" in said Tony clip. It sounds so unnatural.

by Anonymousreply 3208/31/2013

Effie, we all got pain...

by Anonymousreply 3309/04/2013

And the show STILL hasn't been produced in London. Wonder why?

by Anonymousreply 3409/05/2013

Jennifer Holliday in Dreamgilrs: "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"...the single most outstanding performance by an actress interpreting and delivering a song on the history of the theatre.

I've worked with her. She's kind, vulnerable and a sweet girl. She's a bit of a diva at times and she only gives you so much while maintaining her personal boundaries, but on stage, she is something else. No one comes close.

by Anonymousreply 3509/05/2013

Have you met the Brits?

by Anonymousreply 3609/05/2013

For those who have only seen Jennifer Hudson perform this role in the movie, the gold dtandard forever and always remains Jennifer Holliday. She'll blow you away.

by Anonymousreply 3709/05/2013

...and Jennifer Holliday is slimmed down and gorgeous today.

by Anonymousreply 3809/05/2013

I saw her at The Muny too. Amazing. And she signed autographs after and was absolutely lovely.

by Anonymousreply 3909/05/2013

I hear she's showing up at The Apollo singing and doing well.

by Anonymousreply 4009/12/2013
Need more help? Click Here.

Follow theDL catch up on what you missed

recent threads by topic delivered to your email

follow popular threads on twitter

follow us on facebook

Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!