Monday, January 23, 2006

Cross-post: Thoughts on casting for the Dreamgirls movie

Well, I guess we can only hope that this trend in new movie musicals, spurred by the success of Chicago, will continue.

I don't think The Producers and its so-so reviews is going to help much.

Intrepid Annette sent me casting info on the impending Dreamgirls movie.

Most of the casting is movie/music-star casting that I think will probably work just fine:

Can't complain about Jamie Foxx as Curtis Taylor Jr., Eddie Murphy as James "Thunder Early" and Danny Glover as Marty. I'm not even going to question Beyoncé Knowles as Deena Jones.

Two pieces of casting are a little more interesting though. Young Tony-winning Anika Noni Rose (from Caroline or Change) is playing Lorrell. First of all, she's the only one with musical theatre pedigree involved, so good for her. but isn't she really young?

Lastly, American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson is going to play Effie. Lord have mercy. OK. Anyone who has read my American Idol recaps from Season 3 knows that I was never ever a Hudson fan. She may have belty chops, but she has no nuance and no vulnerability. Not only that, but she's not exactly the right physical type for Effie. Effie borders on the unlikable as it is because she ends up being rather self-pitying through the center section of the show. I really fear Hudson is just going to make that unbearably obnoxious.

Any Hudson fans out there to refute me?

I wasnt a Jennifer Hudson fan until I heard her on the Actors Fund Recording of HAIR. She sings "Easy to be Hard."

I think her performance on that cd, is perhaps one of the greatest I have ever heard.

I was rooting for her to get Effie, although i AM a little worried about her in the acting department.
I completely agree with the other poster. Her performance on the Hair CD proves she has the vocal chops. She really, really impressed me... and she's in some pretty impressive company: Raul Esparza, Norm Lewis, Shoshana Bean, Julia Murney, Sherie Rene Scott...

I have NO idea if she can act or not. But vocall, I have no worries whatsoever.

As for Anika Noni Rose, I don't know how old she is (I'd guess early to mid 20s), but doesn't Lorell start out around 19?
I am worried about Anika Noni Rose as Lorell. Maybe she will surprise me. In my opinion, Lorell needs to have CRAZY vocals. Heather Headly is a good example of this. As is Ramona Keller. Anika has a very 'sweet'/"pretty"/ "small" voice. We'll see.

As for her age, she is in her mid-late 20s. She played a 14-16 year old girl in Caroline or Change, but she is defiently pushing 30.
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