Curtain Call: "Dreamgirls"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

So even if you've seen "Dreamgirls" before, you've never seen it like this. A revamped revival of the Supremes-inspired superstar story, hitting the stage in Columbus this week for the first time, has much in common with the Jennifer Hudson-starring movie, said Chester Gregory.

Gregory, who plays Jimmy Early, called in Tuesday from Baltimore, where he and much of the cast was snowbound - leading to the cancellation of Tuesday's opening-night performance in Columbus.

Besides film-inspired additions, like Beyonce's "Listen" joining the soundtrack, the updated show boasts the latest in technology - five LED panels above stage allow for instantaneous scene changes, for one thing.

"Most people now, especially the younger generation, know it by the film," Gregory said. "We have a lot of the original elements, but this is its own production."

Here's a brief history of other Broadway-to-Hollywood (and vice-versa) stories.

"Phantom of the Opera"

Andrew Lloyd Webber adapted "Phantom" for Broadway from an early 20th-century French novel, and his production has become the longest-running show in Broadway history - but he wasn't the first to do so. A 1925 silent film stars Lon Chaney in the title role. Later, Joel Schumacher's 2004 adaptation of Webber's musical got mostly negative reviews.

"The Producers"

This one was a movie first, a 1968 Mel Brooks gem. Then it was adapted to the stage in 2001, with stars Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane helping it become a smash hit. Then, in 2005, a new film version based on the Broadway play was released to mixed reviews.


The Rydell High-set musical takes place in the '50s, but it first hit the stage in 1972. The original run was raunchier than subsequent versions, including the 1978 film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as lovebirds Danny and Sandy.


The Broadway show, set in Prohibition-era Chicago, debuted in 1975, but its Tony-winning 1996 revival is what most of us remember. Rob Marshall's Best Picture-winning film, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, hit screens in 2002.


First came John Waters' 1988 movie, a tame-for-him tale of a plump teenage singer with dreams of stardom. Then came the 2002 Broadway production, and then came the popular 2007 big-screen musical rendition.


Based on Puccini's "La Boheme," the '90s rock opera tackled New York artists and musicians affected by the AIDS epidemic. It's been credited with introducing musical theater to a younger generation, and was made into a movie in 2005, featuring most of the original cast members.

"The Lion King"

Broadway's found success tapping the Disney vault for ideas, and its musical version of the animated classic has become just as loved for its elaborate animal costumes and giant puppets.

"Mamma Mia!"

Created in 1999, the jukebox musical uses ABBA songs to tell its fictional story. A 2008 movie version starring Meryl Streep was a huge box-office success, though it couldn't really live up to the giddiness of the live show.

When: Through Feb. 21

Where: Palace Theatre, Downtown