Friday, December 18, 2009

SOB's Favorite Shows Of The Noughties: #12 - Dreamgirls

SOB's Favorite Shows Of The Noughties: #12 - Dreamgirls (2007, Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA)

Introduction: Hard as it is to comprehend that we're already 119 months into this "new" millennium, we are fast approaching the end of its first decade. While we have yet to agree on what exactly we should call the '00s, I'll take a cue from the fine folks at The Times of London and the BBC and henceforth refer to them at the Noughties.

With that small introduction, I'm pleased to present my list of plays and musicals that wowed me the most during that time. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of shows I've seen over the last ten years, I give you my countdown of my 25 personal favorite shows of the Noughties.

Tempting fate by returning once more to the role that made her a star over a generation ago, Jennifer Holliday succeeded in proving yet again that she is the quintessential Effie Melody White. In the summer 2007 Atlanta revival of Dreamgirls, the incomparable Holliday seemed to relish further substantiating that she and Effie are not going to take a backseat to anyone. In a glorious and absolutely thrilling performance, not only did Jennifer Holliday triumphantly reclaim the mantle of Effie Melody White, but she reigned supreme.

While Holliday alone would have made this Dreamgirls dazzle, she was not alone in providing some truly magical and electrifying performances. In fact, the moment I realized this revival would be otherworldly was at the onset of “Steppin’ To The Bad Side” when the foursome of Curtis Taylor Jr. (David Jennings), C.C. White (Destan Owens), James Thunder Early (Eugene Fleming) and Wayne (James Harkness) sent the first, palpable jolt of energized lightning ricocheting through the receptive audience, thanks in part due to Kevyn Morrow’s supercharged choreography.

With an audience already overcome with pure unadulterated excitement, Holliday’s delivery of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” became particularly potent on stage. Somehow, Holliday pulled this incredible outpouring of heartbroken anguish from the deepest, innermost recesses of her very being and spewed it forth in as chilling a show-stopping performance as I have ever seen. For me, seeing this Dreamgirls was a chance to once again witness one of the greatest live theatrical performances of all time and truly savor it.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post. I paid my own way for this performance.

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