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Coming Soon: ‘Dreamgirls’ Original London Cast Recording

April 15th, 2017 Comments off

Ibinabo Jack, Liisi LaFontaine and Amber Riley in 'Dreamgirls.' (Photo: DreamgirlsWestEnd.com via The Broadway Blog.)

Ibinabo Jack, Liisi LaFontaine and Amber Riley in ‘Dreamgirls.’ (Photo: DreamgirlsWestEnd.com via The Broadway Blog.)

Masterworks Broadway proudly announces the release of the highly anticipated Original London Cast Recording of Dreamgirls. The new double album will be available via online retailers and streaming services April 28 (preorder available now), with the 2-CD set following May 12.

Recorded live in its entirety at the Savoy Theatre in London’s West End, the album captures the on-stage exhilaration of the original cast, the 14-piece band and audience. Dreamgirls’ legendary score features the unforgettable songs “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” I Am Changing,” “Listen” and “One Night Only.”

The Dreamgirls Original London Cast Recording is produced by composer Henry Krieger and mixed by Andy Bradfield. The cast recording features Amber Riley as Effie White, Liisi LaFontaine as Deena Jones and Ibinabo Jack as Lorrell Robinson—making up the soulful singing trio ‘The Dreams’; Joe Aaron Reid as Curtis Taylor Jr, Adam J. Bernard as Jimmy Early, Tyrone Huntley as C.C. White, Nicholas Bailey as Marty and Lily Frazer as Michelle Morris.

The long-awaited UK premiere of Dreamgirls opened at the Savoy Theatre in December 2016 to widespread critical acclaim, 35 years after originally opening on Broadway. It is directed and choreographed by Olivier and Tony Award-winning Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Disney’s Aladdin and Something Rotten!), with set design by Tim Hatley, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Hugh Vanstone, sound design by Richard Brooker and hair design byJosh Marquette. The musical supervisor is Nick Finlow, the orchestrator is Harold Wheeler, with additional material by Willie Reale.

Dreamgirls transports audiences to a revolutionary time in American music history. It charts the tumultuous journey of a young female singing trio from Chicago called ‘The Dreams’, as they learn the hard lesson that show business is as tough as it is fabulous.

With book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Henry Krieger, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony Awards. The original cast recording won two Grammy Awards for Best Musical Theater Album and Best Vocal Performance for Jennifer Holliday’s ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.’ In 2006 it was adapted into an Oscar winning motion picture starring Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

Tony Awards Time Machine: 1982

May 15th, 2012 Comments off

"Dreamgirls". Image via Google.

Everybody back in the time machine! I hope you had a great time discovering all the free-love, light ’em up joys of 1972 but now we’re skipping ahead a decade and just saying no in 1982.

Oh, but say yes to the 1982 Tony Awards because it features THAT performance. Yep, this was the year that Jennifer Holliday Godzilla-stomped, took a heaving breath and set fire to a theater (and the imaginations of thousand of little show queens in training at their TV sets) when she sang And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls.

But before we get to that video, what else do we see on this fair night from the Reagan years? Why there’s Roger Rees, a Tony nominee in 2012 for his co-direction of Peter and the Starcatcher, winning Best Leading Actor in a Play for the similarly story-theater styled The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. And there’s Amanda Plummer pulling a double by getting nominated for Best Leading Actress in a Play (A Taste of Honey) and winning for Best Featured Actress in a Play (Agnes of God)…all under the watchful eye of her father Christopher Plummer, nominated in ’82 for Othello.

Nine and Dreamgirls duked it out in the musical categories with Nine taking the top honor…but Dreamgirls, I’d say, having the more influential run in the popular imagination.  Which is the perfect segue to watch…

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