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Saw Frenchie in DREAMGIRLS last night


joined:12/31/69

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12/31/69
Saw Frenchie in DREAMGIRLS last night#0
Posted: 1/16/04 at 1:06pm
I saw the DREAMGIRLS show in San Jose last night and although it has been running since the 18th the show was a little rough.
The biggest problem was the microphones. Everytime an actor appeared on stage their mic had a one second delay so we heard their projection then their mic support, that was weak.

the actors did well. Act one seemed a little weak because Deena, Lorell and Effie played VERY young, so they played meek and sweet and their vocals matched that. Also I had some problems with Effie. She didn't wail her head off during "Move right outta my life" making it so obvious that they should win the contest, it almost seemed that Tiny Jo Dickson rightfully won. But as the show went on Effie got better. She started to wail during "Heavy" and the fight seen got better but they all seemed to be holding back. Effie's "And I'm telling You" was great. Although it lacked the regular Holliday or White Umph, Davis had a nice well rounded thick belt, minus ANY growling. but her belt filled the auditorium gloriously. She did need some help on her deliveries though, meaning the sadness and pain, but the audience was still overwhelmed anyhow.

Act II was so muh better vocally. Deena was awesome in the ACT II opening sequence. She belted and became a sexy Diana Ross Vamp. Lorell's "Ain't No Party" was effortless, she growled and did her thang, she hit the notes smoothly and clearly. Effie's "I Am Changing" was a great belt song, yet again, the pain and desperation was not present. But the wonderful solid, well rounded belt was present belt filled the area and I was impressed.

So all in all I felt the actors were holding back too much in the beginning but showed off their true talents in ACT II. I've never seen DREAMGIRLS before, only listen to the cds and have the concert cd to compare with the crazy vocals and belting. But all in all I enjoyed it.

Any questions?
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Thetruth
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re: Saw Frenchie in DREAMGIRLS last night#1
Posted: 1/17/04 at 4:25am
Do you think the production or one including Frenchie is b'way worthy?
tkts
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Glad you enjoyed it. The reviews have been good all around. I'll be seeing the show next Saturday.
Cake or death?
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I think DREAMGIRLS in itself is ready for a Broadway revival. I don't think the Dreamgirls I saw is ready though. And although Frenchie was good I think many will be disappointed with her interpretation or the director's interpretation on Effie's meekness, which in turn, she holds back on the vocals. She still delivers with a strong clear belt but absolutely nowhere in the direction of Jennifer Holliday, Lilias White or BJ Crosby.
However the difference in interpretation is what seems to be getting the attention for Frenchie, saying she isn't a carbon copy of Holliday, but rather a force all her own. I just wish she'd portray it a little more aggressive and more confident about her vocal abilities than the shyness delivered throughout the whole show until she brings the lawyer to see Curtis, that is where Effie's intensity starts. I personally felt her intensity needed to be present from the initial "Move, Move, Move right outta my life...."
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Thetruth
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I agree somewhat about the intensity. Granted, I havn't seen Frenchie in the role but Jennifer Holiday, in her recent run as Effie in Atlanta, I thought was a little too intense and I wish she woulda held back at some points. I think it's actually a very tricky role to play. I really really liked Lilias White's approach to Effie. Some people think that she was a little too harsh and lacked the warmth of Holliday (OBC), but I thought that Jen was way too sympathetic. Lilias created an Effie that garnered sympathy but wasn't a complete victim because her ego also resulted in problems for her. And her singing! She hit all the points on my "Effie check list."
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EffieWhite
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I think that its time for people to let the former Effies go and to welcome a new Effie. Effie is supposed to age from 18-25 over the course of DREAMGIRLS. Jennifer, Lilias and B.J. are all, to be delicate, a bit long in the tooth for the role now. Frenchie is 24 and perfect for it.
Does her approach to the role need a little work? Yes. But she is extremely close and will only get better and better. She had a grand total of two weeks of rehearsal before techs. And while she isn't "growling" out the songs--she is also not missing half of her performances like Jennifer did.
"You got the same dress I got?" "Yes.""You got the same wig I got?" "Yes." THEN SHUT UP!
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Wait...when did BJ Crosby play Effie White? Is there a recording either an audio or video of it? I would love to see that! I'm a big fan of Ms. Crosby, and had no idea she'd ever been involved with the show. It makes perfect sense tho...I bet she was amazing!
"Johnny cheated. Frankie killed him. Johnny cheated so Frankie killed him. Shot and killed him. Don't blame her - I'd have done it, too."
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B.J. Crosby played Effie on a national tour of DREAMGIRLS that went out about 6 years ago. Another actress opened the tour but soon lost her voice and B.J. replaced her. She was also hired to play Effie in the London premiere that never happened.
I know of no recording of her Effie, however.
"You got the same dress I got?" "Yes.""You got the same wig I got?" "Yes." THEN SHUT UP!
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Kavana
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id like to correct you Miss white

The actress that opened the 98 tour was fired because she could not sing.

There is a making of the 98 tour from the Kennedy center that you can buy that BJ was in but I do not have the link i will post if i find.
Waiting to chop crackas heads off
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catcher
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I would love it if Frenchie came to Broadway, but I bet she wouldn't perform eight shows a week. That's just a feeling--don't attack me--I don't have a source.
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Kev
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And just for reference, the actress was Roz White. Her press reels were decent, nothing special.
The real star of that tour for me was Tonya Dixon as Lorrell...yum!