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Fisher and Eisenhauer to Light Up Dreamgirls Film

Acclaimed lighting designers Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer have signed on to the upcoming Dreamgirls film.

At least 14 of the movie musical's production numbers will be designed by the team, whose work can also be seen in the recent The Producers film. Together, they have provided lighting design for shows that include Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, Assassins, and Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk; they won Tonys for the latter two, while Fisher has several others for shows he designed on his own.

Set for a December 2006 release, the Dreamgirls film will star "American Idol"'s Jennifer Hudson as Effie Melody White, the phenomenally talented vocalist who is considered unmarketable as the lead singer of the Supremes-like Motown group The Dreams, and who is dropped in favor of the glamorous Deena Jones (played by pop superstar Beyonce Knowles). Sharon Leal (Rent, "Guiding Light," "Boston Public") will play Michelle, who replaces Effie in the Dreams. The cast also includes Eddie Murphy as soul superstar James "Thunder" Early, Danny Glover as Early's manager Marty Madison, Academy-Award winner Jamie Foxx as Dreams manager Curtis Taylor Jr., three-time Tony Award-winner Hinton Battle as Wayne, and Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose as Lorrell Robinson, the vivacious third member of the Dreams.

Dreamgirls, a co-production between DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures, will be directed by Bill Condon, the Academy Award-winner who received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for the film version of Chicago. He will also adapt the screenplay from Tom Eyen's book (Eyen also wrote the lyrics to Henry Kreiger's music).

Dreamgirls opened at the Imperial Theatre on December 20th, 1981. A smash hit, it ran for 1521 performances and won 8 of it 15 Tony nominations. The show featured a score by Henry Krieger and Tow Ewen, a book by Ewen, scenic design by Robin Wagner, costume design by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting design by Tharon Musser. Dazzlingly staged by Michael Bennett, the show nonetheless lost the Best Musical Tony to Nine. Jennifer Holliday, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Loretta Devine were the three Dreams, and Cleavant Derricks, Ben Harney and Obba Babatunde were also featured. Dreamgirls was revived in 1987 with Lillias White, Alisa Gyse and Arnetia Walker. Heather Headley, Audra McDonald and White headlined the 2001 Actors' Fund benefit concert.


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