It just occurred to me that I haven't really blogged about the upcoming Dreamgirls movie. I'm not sure why, because I'm actually very excited about it. The commercial during the Tony Awards was very impressive. Beyonce looked fierce, and I loved the way the camera circled the girls with an ever-increasing frenzy. If the movie looks as good as the commercial, I think we're in for a great film.
This movie has the best chance of being a monster musical hit since Chicago. I mean, look at the cast and crew:
Jamie Foxx (Curtis)
Beyonce Knowles (Deena)
Eddie Murphy (James "Thunder" Early)
Danny Glover (Marty)
Anika Noni Rose (Lorelle) (Tony winner for Caroline, or Change)
Bill Condon (director and screenwriter) (Screenwriter for Chicago)
The show's official Web site describes a very interesting marketing ploy: in 2006, leading up to the December release Dreamworks, the studio that's producing the movie, has been and will be paying the licensing fees for all amateur productions of Dreamgirls.
An intriguing idea, but I wonder how many amateur productions of Dreamgirls there actually are. In my experience, very few African Americans do community and amateur theater. I mean, how often do you see local productions of Once on this Island or Show Boat? You see a lot of The Wiz, but it's usually with lots of white people. This may be changing: our classes at the Boston Conservatory have been getting much more ethnically diverse of late. Another sign that things are changing is the number of local productions of Ragtime, at least in the Boston area.
So maybe paying the amateur licensing fees isn't such a bad idea.