20 Dec 2012
On this date in 1981, Dreamgirls premiered at the Imperial Theatre. The Playbill Vault looks back on its successful Broadway run.
Following opening night on Dec. 20, 1981, Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times: "When Broadway history is being made, you can feel it." In his rave review of the "beautiful and heartbreaking new musical," he praised Michael Bennett's "imaginative" staging and likened the powerhouse performance from Jennifer Holliday to Ethel Merman in Gypsy.
Dreamgirls dominated the 1982 Tonys with 13 nominations. The production won six of those categories, including awards for Jennifer Holliday and co-choreographers Michael Bennett and Michael Peters, but the show lost Best Musical to Maury Yeston's Nine.
Set in the magical world of La Belle Epoque Paris, where fashion, glamour, and passion prevail, Lerner and Loewe's celebrated musical is a romantic comedy about one young woman's journey to find her true self... and her true love.