Thursday, January 04, 2007

Literary Musical

"Music and literature" are sometime said together, say on a board game. There can be music and there can be literature, but the musical (and opera) is a form that can actually fit into both. There's obvious music in a musical. There is also a plot, a protagonist, an antagonist--elements associated with the literary.

I love music and a really good story. Finding them working well together can be tough. There are a few musicals that really get me going. Into the Woods and Westside Story come to mind. And Dreamgirls.

I never saw it live on stage, but the music--oh, the music--is to die for. "And I'm telling you I'm not going" was a song that stuck to my bones. It is THE song from Dreamgirls, sung by the character Effie White. I saw the movie and just fell right into it. Jennifer Hudson (pictured) as Effie is really good, but Jennifer Holiday, the Original, was amazing. I'd heard the recording and saw her sing it live at an AIDS conference. (She'd slimmed down considerably.) I read an interview with Jennifer Hudson and even she says "And I'm telling you" is Holiday's song.

Keep this performance of Jennifer Holiday at the 1982 Tony Awards in mind when you see the movie. Hudson is good, but Holiday is...well, watch for yourself. (um, you may have to cut and paste it)


Jason Phoon said...

alrite , i'll go watch dreamgirls ^_^

Cheryl said...

I love love love Into the Woods. Stephen Sondheim is a genius. I saw Dreamgirls on stage in college, and I can't wait to see the movie--Bill Condon is a great writer and director too.