"Listen": "Dreamgirls" Begins Roadshow Engagement at NYC's Ziegfeld Dec. 15

News   "Listen": "Dreamgirls" Begins Roadshow Engagement at NYC's Ziegfeld Dec. 15
The much-anticipated DreamWorks/Paramount film "Dreamgirls" — based on the award-winning musical of the same name — begins a 10-day roadshow screening engagement at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan Dec. 15.
Jennifer Hudson and Beyonc
Jennifer Hudson and Beyonc Photo by Dreamworks SKG

"Dreamgirls," which was recently nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, is employing this vintage marketing technique prior to the film's nationwide debut Christmas Day. The roadshow — designed to make an evening of moviegoing more like a live theatrical experience — is also being offered at Hollywood's Cinerama Dome and San Francisco's Metreon. The roadshow features reserved seating, "Dreamgirls"-themed lobby displays and merchandise booths, a limited-edition program and, of course, higher ticket prices. The Ziegfeld is charging $25 per ticket.

The roadshow will play in each of these three theatres for 10 days. About the "Dreamgirls" roadshow, Paramount's president of distribution Jim Tharp previously told Variety, "We wanted to bring ['Dreamgirls'] to audiences in a special way, and we think this roadshow does the film justice." The last film to have an official roadshow, the industry paper says, was another film musical, 1972's "Man of La Mancha."

Directed by Bill Condon, "Dreamgirls" stars Jennifer Hudson as Effie, Beyoncé Knowles as Deena Jones, Anika Noni Rose as Lorrell Robinson, Jamie Fox as Curtis Taylor Jr., Eddie Murphy as James "Thunder" Early and Danny Glover as Marty. Director Bill Condon also wrote the film's screenplay based on the late Tom Eyen's book. The film employs most of the original score by Eyen and Henry Krieger as well as four new tunes: "Love You I Do" (for Effie), "Listen" (for Deena), "Patience" (for James "Thunder" Early) and "Perfect World" (for Teddy Campbell, a child musical sensation rising alongside The Dreams).

The new movie musical received five Golden Globe nominations earlier this week: Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical, Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Beyoncé Knowles), Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Jennifer Hudson), Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Eddie Murphy) and Best Original Song-Motion Picture ("Listen"). "Dreamgirls" will vie for the Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical Golden Globe in a field that also includes "Borat," "The Devil Wears Prada," "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Thank You for Smoking."

"Dreamgirls," according to the film's official website, "follows the rise of a trio of women — Deena (Beyoncé Knowles), Effie (Jennifer Hudson) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose) — who have formed a promising girl group called The Dreamettes. At a talent competition, they are discovered by an ambitious manager named Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Jamie Foxx), who offers them the opportunity of a lifetime: to become the back-up singers for headliner James 'Thunder' Early (Eddie Murphy). Curtis gradually takes control of the girls' look and sound, eventually giving them their own shot in the spotlight as The Dreams. The spotlight, however, begins to narrow in on Deena, finally pushing back the less attractive Effie out altogether. Though the Dreams become a crossover phenomenon, they soon realize that the cost of fame and fortune may be higher than they ever imagined." The musical Dreamgirls, which concerns the rise of a Supremes-like singing group amid a flurry of infighting, debuted at Broadway's Imperial Theatre on Dec. 9, 1981, playing 1,521 performances before closing Aug. 11, 1985. The original cast featured Obba Babatundé, Cleavant Derricks, Loretta Devine, Ben Harney, Jennifer Holliday, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Deborah Burrell. The show lost the Tony for Best Musical to Maury Yeston's Nine. A 1987 revival at the Ambassador Theatre starred Lillias White, Alisa Gyse, Kevyn Morrow, Weyman Thompson and Arnetia Walker.

For more information visit www.dreamgirlsmovie.com.

Eddie Murphy with Jennifer Hudson, Beyonc
Eddie Murphy with Jennifer Hudson, Beyonc Photo by Dreamworks SKG
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