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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!

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macbeth
Broadway Star
joined:5/7/03
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joined:
5/7/03
First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#1
Posted: 1/11/21 at 6:55am

I'll admit I usually find videos like this a little stupid, but still get suckered into watching them in time. I love their reaction to someone I've always found to be somehow simultaneously iconic and underrated. 

 

 

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CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#2
Posted: 1/11/21 at 8:32am
That was fun. I would have loved to see their reaction to the Tony Awards performance and not just a recording of the song.
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MichelleCraig
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joined:5/28/14
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joined:
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#3
Posted: 1/11/21 at 2:11pm

I think I posted something similar here a number of years ago, but couldn't find it in a search.

I went to see DREAMGIRLS at the Shubert Theatre in Boston, October 1981, before it moved to Broadway. I was in my early 20s. As fate would have it, the official "opening night" was supposed to be held on the night before I was seeing the performance...but one of the cast members (an unknown named Jennifer Holliday) had been under the weather so the actual "opening night" was coinciding with the performance I was seeing.

I had a great single seat; center orchestra about 6 or 7 rows back. Elliot Norton, "The Dean of American Theatre Critics," was sitting next to me on my left. Seated directly behind me were David Geffen, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas. Donahue's television show was huge then, so I knew I had a little story to tell my friends later on.

As the first act was heading to a finish, this unknown Jennifer Holliday (who'd already been quite good in the show's first act...and was the reason the "official opening" had been delayed until that night) began "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." It was like nothing I had EVER experienced in a theatre. The audience reaction practically blew the roof off of the Shubert. People rose to their feet screaming and applauding. David Geffen actually was standing on his seat! From, the mezzanine and balcony, audience members began tearing their playbills up which were raining down onto the orchestra section; improvised confetti! It was as if people, myself included, were losing their collective minds over what they'd just heard.

In the days before the Internet and show's previews being widely reported on, that night was made all the more impactful because nobody in that audience knew what was about to hit them.

 

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uncageg
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joined:5/13/04
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#4
Posted: 1/11/21 at 2:31pm

macbeth said: "I'll admit I usually find videos like this a little stupid, but still get suckered into watching them in time. I love their reaction to someone I've always found to be somehow simultaneously iconic and underrated.

 

Oh, these two are quite popular. I have watched a number of their videos. Their "In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins was quite popular when it came out. It is kind of fun watching these young kids discover new music. There are others out there doing it on You Tube but not as popular as these guys, I don't think.
 

 

"

 

Just give the world Love.
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rosscoe(au)
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joined:8/20/05
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joined:
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#5
Posted: 1/11/21 at 5:44pm
Michelle Craig reading your reply gave me goosebumps. The sad thing about the internet is nothing is a surprise anymore.

Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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Miserent
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joined:5/8/08
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#6
Posted: 1/11/21 at 7:05pm
Aurora Spiderwoman just uploaded the Tony’s performance to YouTube, and Chita Rivera has a narration before the performance and can briefly be seen after...it looks like this performance was supposed to be included in Broadway’s Lost Treasures.
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CT2NYC
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joined:3/7/17
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#7
Posted: 1/11/21 at 7:46pm

 

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rosscoe(au)
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joined:8/20/05
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#8
Posted: 1/12/21 at 3:02am
It’s up there with the greatest of act one endings, it’s just a pity the Michael Bennett was such a ****in not allowing her to have that moment.

Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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nealb1
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joined:8/1/05
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#9
Posted: 1/12/21 at 12:05pm

It's an absolutely incredible moment at the end of Act 1 when she stops the show.  With the new Dreams making their entrance right before the curtain falls, it's the perfect ending.  Effie is out, and the new girl is in.  Effie finally realized that her behavior was unacceptable and she was gone.   Replaced.  Just like everything in life.  Everyone is replaceable.  

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CATSNYrevival
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joined:3/1/04
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#10
Posted: 1/12/21 at 12:49pm
Yes. I think ending the act with the Dreams is essential.
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IAmAnIslander2
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joined:1/5/21
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#11
Posted: 1/12/21 at 8:42pm

MichelleCraig said: "I think I posted something similar here a number of years ago, but couldn't find it in a search.

I went to see DREAMGIRLS at the Shubert Theatre in Boston, October 1981, before it moved to Broadway. I was in my early 20s. As fate would have it, the official "opening night" was supposed to be held on the night before I was seeing the performance...but one of the cast members (an unknown named Jennifer Holliday)had been under the weather so the actual "opening night" was coinciding with the performance I was seeing.

I had a great single seat; center orchestra about 6 or 7 rows back. Elliot Norton, "The Dean of American Theatre Critics," was sitting next to me on my left. Seated directly behind me wereDavid Geffen, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas. Donahue's television show was huge then, so I knew I had a little story to tell my friends later on.

As the firstact was heading to a finish, this unknown Jennifer Holliday (who'd already been quite good in the show's first act...and was the reason the "official opening" had been delayed until that night) began "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." It was like nothing I had EVER experienced in a theatre. The audience reaction practically blew the roof off of the Shubert. People rose to their feet screaming and applauding. David Geffen actually was standing on his seat! From, the mezzanine and balcony, audience members began tearing their playbills up which were raining down onto the orchestra section; improvised confetti! It was as ifpeople, myself included, were losing theircollective minds over what they'd just heard.

In the days before the Internet and show's previews beingwidely reported on, that night was made all the more impactful because nobody in that audience knew what was about to hit them.


"

Must have been a very special night! 

It sometimes blows my mind how much the internet has changed everything and how different things used to be - even just 20 years ago.

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joevitus
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joined:7/10/19
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First Time Hearing Jennifer Holliday!#12
Posted: 1/12/21 at 9:16pm

I also think it has to end with the Dreams. Whether Bennett did that for drastically valid or personal petty reasons (and Holiday was way too petty and childish in her own behavior during rehearsals and even after becoming a star for me to feel any sorrow for her over it), that is the best way for the act to end.