"Sing Out, Louise!" Our Top Ten Musical Theatre Diva Vehicles

By Ben Rimalower
05 Aug 2013

4. Dreamgirls

I mean, duh. Could any role be more diva than Effie White in Dreamgirls? Jennifer Holliday's earth-shattering performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" on the 1982 Tony Awards changed the rules of the game for divas on Broadway and certainly set the standard for all Tony Awards diva performances — mind you, this is me talking, the guy who stars in a one-man show about his obsession with Patti LuPone. Facts are facts. Jennifer Holliday was brilliant, but also she had material that showcased her virtuosity. Dreamgirls gives the actress playing Effie the chance to stand at center stage and sing for the heavens. The genius of Dreamgirls is that it does this in a way that serves the story and character development and keeps the evening zipping along. It's not just a diva vehicle. It's air-tight!