Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Emily Skinner|
Dreamgirls in Concert (2001 Concert Cast)
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Track listing DISC 1: ACT 1: 1. I'm Looking For Something, Baby 2. Goin' Downtown 3. Takin' the Long Way Home 4. Move (You're Steppin' on My Heart) 5. Scene: Fifty Bucks Says the Dreamettes Don't Win 6. Fake Your Way to t... more »
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Track listing DISC 1: ACT 1: 1. I'm Looking For Something, Baby 2. Goin' Downtown 3. Takin' the Long Way Home 4. Move (You're Steppin' on My Heart) 5. Scene: Fifty Bucks Says the Dreamettes Don't Win 6. Fake Your Way to the Top 7. Scene: It Ain't Working, Marty 8. Cadillac Car 9. Cadillac Car (On the Road) 10. Cadillac Car (Recording Studio) 11. Scene: "I Don't Believe They Can Do That" 12. Steppin' to the Bad Side 13. Scene: I'm Working on a Long Shot 14. Party, Party 15. I Want You Baby 16. Scene: I'm a Woman Now 17. Family 18. Scene: What Are You Doing to That Girl? 19. Dreamgirls 20. Press Conference 21. Heavy 22. Walkin' Down the Strip/Scene: Las Vegas 23. It's All Over 24. And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going DISC 2: ACT II: 1. Opening Act II: Dreams Medley 2. Scene: Effie White Is the Best Singer You're Gonna Find 3. I Am Changing 4. Vogue Sequence 5. When I First Saw You 6. Ain't No Party 7. I Meant You No Harm 8. Rap, The 9. I Miss You, Old Friend 10. One Night Only 11. One Night Only - (Disco Version) 12. I'm Somebody 13. Hard to Say Good-Bye 14. Dreamgirls - (Reprise) Details Producer: Tommy Krasker Distributor: WEA (Distributor) Recording type: Studio Recording mode: Stereo SPAR Code: n/a Album notes Music written by Henry Krieger. Lyrics by Tom Eyen. Principal cast includes: Heather Headley (Lorrell Robinson); Audra McDonald (Deena Jones); Lillias White (Effie Melody White); Darius De Haas (C.C. White); Norm Lewis (Curtis Taylor, Jr.); Billy Porter (Jimmy Early); Tamara Tunie (Michelle Morris); James Stovall (Marty). Recorded live at The Ford Center For The Performing Arts and The Hit Fctory Studios, New York, New York between September and November 2001. Includes liner notes by Tommy Krasker and Frank Rich.
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A dream of a recording
Jay Dickson | Portland, OR | 03/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DREAMGIRLS may be the closest thing Broadway has ever come to an authentic and richly textured pop/R&B opera. There are more than three dozen numbers in the show, which is almost entirely sung through.Not only do the songs reflect a variety of musical traditions, but they have a kind of musical sophistication, with key musical and verbal leitmotifs ("You were wonderful Miss Jones," "You're bringing us down," "It's just showbiz") accruing new meanings as they're repeated throughout the show. Most of the songs are sung as numbers by the Dreams and the R&B groups they meet, but they comment in fascinatingly textured ways upon the action of the show's major characters. Unfortunately the original show was given an extremely truncated cast recording that beautifully demonstrated the skills of the legendary Jennifer Holiday in the central role of Effie, but didn't give the marvelous libretto and score their due.Twenty years later, we finally have a full recording of DREAMGIRLS--with all of its complexity restored. It is hard to imagine that for a score of years people who were not lucky enough to have seen the original show on Broadway had no idea of the terrifically complex ensemble numbers such as "It's All Over" and "Heavy," which add so much to the characterization and meaning of the work. Some of the Dreams' hit numbers from when they become famous which exist only in a few tantalizing musical phrases--"Step On Over," "I'm Somebody"--are now available for the first time on recording. This is really a superb show, and more than worthy of a fullscale revival.And what a dream of a cast we have on this concert recording! Lilias White is a superb Effie White: although her voice, while magnificent in its own right, doesn't have quite the power of Jennifer Holliday's (but then, whose does?), she still manages to make the role her own in this performance. But the real miracles are the other two stars, Heather Headley (Broadway's Aida) as Lorrell and the inestimable Audra McDonald as Deena. Headley is really a revelation in her role: as expected, she makes Lorrell's great Act II number "Aint' No Party" a showstopper, but she also acts the hell out of the role's other moments in this recording, making her coltish and vulnerable Lorrell a real delight. As for McDonald, this may be the best performance she's ever given, which (given her exceptional work elsewhere) is really saying something. When this production was announced McDonald mentioned to the press that Deena Jones was a role she had always longed to play, and this production shows exactly why: the part is perfectly suited for McDonald's talents. She's superb conveying both Deena's sweet ingenuousness in the first act and her growing confidence in the second, and even tinges the role at the appropriate points with the right note of mounting panic (catch the Garlandesque rising gasp of near-hysteria in her voice when she announces in the Act II opening medley she's "bought out Europe"). And she's in splendid voice: her first rendition of the show's title number is the recording's true highlight, even considering the other treats here. Indeed, it's almost fortunate we have MacDonald's performance here for this one-time concert version because she's SO good that her Deena would never work onstage (given that Deena isn't supposed to be as good a singer as Effie--here, all three Dreams are equally superb singers).Given that this is a concert recording, there are a few minor glitches here and there that aren't what one would wish for: the actor who sings the Pat Boone-like final reprise of "Cadillac Car," for example, is pretty flat. But that's a small quibble. This is a production one could never hope to see onstage, and we are lucky to have it available on cd."
AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING PERFORMANCES!!
Robert Lopez | California | 06/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Dreamgirls Benefit Concert was a DREAM come true. Hundreds of Broadway Divas lined the stage to belt their hearts out for this "One Night Only" event.In turn we are now blessed with this definitive, complete recording of this cult classic, dialogue and all. This is one of my favorite cds to listen to on long road trips because you take the entire journey, or highs and lows along with them. And there are MANY highs and lows on this cd!Let me start at the beginnging. The excitement, the energy is all reflected on this cd. Every interpretation is rich and sincere. It sounds like you're listening to a reading. All the actor's performances are nearly flawless, and that's not shocking seeing the AMAZING cast that was assembled for this event. Lilias White, the Diva behind "The Life" among others is Effie Melody White and a force to be reckoned with. Her Effie is night and day to Holliday's Effie. Holliday held back all throughout Act One with the exception of "Move" and then knocked us out in "And I'm Telling You" but White does not hold ANYTHING back! She's brassy, she's pushy, she's the Diva Effie. Now who knows which interpretation is preferred, but I prefer White's entire interpretation as opposed to Holliday's. White can also act and emote rings around Holliday's powerhouse voice. You can feel White all throughout the story. From the meeker subtle diva, to the diva fighting for her place in the group, and secretly fighting to keep the father of her child. It's White's nonchalant ghetto-divaness that makes this all work. We feel hometown, mo-town, singing doo wops on the fire hydrants. The hometown feel is amplified by Heather Headley's hilarious portrayal of Lorell. Although Headley's vocals are far from the ease and intensity of Devine's Lorell, Headley is heads above on the acting and performace. Her transformation from shy middle girl to pissed off group member to independant woman is awesome! Headley's strongest moments are the fighting dialogue scenes and the songs where the Dreams are singing together. Headley is not afraid to be the top belter and hit those impossible harmonies. Her "Ain't No Party" isn't very strong, and flat at some points, yet is still effective because of her performance and acting for the song. Most effective in the fight scene towards the end of Act I. She hits the most amazing notes.I am STILL amazed at how much I LIKE Audra's Deena Jones. I, like so many others, didn't think she was right for the part, but I think Audra proved us all wrong. What part IS she wrong for!!?! Her acting is probably the best on this cd. Audra's intensity shines through, from her meek beginning to Superstar Deena-Diva. "I Don't Keep dragging everybody down! I Keep Working for you baby!" Her acting is fierce. And her smooth vocals seem so appropriate for Deena, much more so than the original. All three Dreamgirls seemed to take much more of a journey when brought to life by these three Tony Ward Winning knock-outs.The men on this cd are just as good as the woman. Curtis is played by the sensational Norm Lewis of Side Show. An intense actor with a golden voice and sincere deliveries. Billy Porter's over the top portrayal of the James Brown-esque Jimmy is amazing. You really know why all of these characters are famous for their voices and performances. Not only can Billy sing like no other, but his acting was very strong too, starting off as the hilariously bawdy "It-Man" to the begging and scrounging, lost and struggling performer. Darius De Haas plays the smooth sounding CC, and gets to play around with the vocals to show off his amazing range.The ensemble is a Who's Who of Broadway newcomers! Alice Ripley, Emily Skinner, Patrick Wilson, Orpheh, Shoshanna Bean to name a few, which gives us the full impact of the powerful score. The Pit Singers add all the intensity and the excitement to the scene, and man, what voices these women have got.All in all Dreamgirls the Benefit concert is a must have. Some might say it will never be better than the original cast recording, that may be so, but this is the full score, the full show, with an amazingly talented, well acted and performed cast. You couldn't ask for anything better."
They're your Dreamgirls, boys, they'll make you happy
VictorRidley | New York, NY United States | 03/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a Dream... to record ALL the music and ALL the dialogue with ALL these stars! I did not realize how much of the original production I have forgotten by only having the first cast recording as the living memory. The three Dreams are dreams... Audra McDonald, Lillias White, and Heather Headley. Add the voices of Darius de Haas and Norm Lewis and there's nothing left to say but to repeat Deena Jones herself... "Wonderful... What can I say but wonderful... Yes it's Wonderful"Lillias White makes "I am changing" and "One Night Only" the cornerstones of Effie's performances, which I think is wise so as not to invite the inevitable comparison to Jennifer Holidays' magnificent "And I am telling you I'm not Going". I like Billy Porter very much, but on this recording his voice was not at its normal, powerful level. Not to worry, because Darius de Haas' "Family" and Norm Lewis' "When I first Saw You" hold up the male side of the CD beautifully. I do not know these two performers, but I hope to hear more from them. De Haas' duet with White, "I miss you old Friend" is imbued with power and sensitivity.The dialogue also allows Audra McDonald's and Heather Headley's acting to shine through. And we get to take full character journeys in McDondald's Deena, Lewis' Curtis, and de Haas' CC. And I totally forgot that the character of Michelle actually has a story line, but thankfully Tamara Tunie serves the character well. Buy this and spend a night at a full broadway show!"