"And you... and you... and you..."
Showcase and I have been singing the damn song around the apartment... over the phone... over IM... since the first "Dreamgirls" TV spots started running. Most nights it's so gay in here the walls are about to catch on fire. What do you expect from two former musical theatre students.
Fortunately for all of us, Jake Gyllenhaal immortalized his rendition of "I Am Telling You I Am Not Going" on Saturday Night Live last night. Showcase and I are into double-digit viewings. And it only took 12 hours to show up on You Tube:
The plans for our first viewing of Dreamgirls were in the works for several weeks. Showcase and I decided that the best way for us to experience "Dreamgirls" was not amongst the hoi polloi at the AMC Century 15 or sandwiched between ballcap-wearing quasi-incognito B-list celebrities (see Rachel Bilson, Frankie Muniz) at The Grove. We would take in Dreamgirls at the Magic Johnson Crenshaw 15.
"I think it's a great idea" said Showcase. "Of course, we're GOING TO DIE, but sure, why not."
Then, another thought struck him.
"I"ll only go if I can drive."
"Brilliant, we can get your car stolen, too!"
"Only if you pay for cab fare on the way back."
Showcase has been walking out of malls and supermarkets for months now, just praying that someone had stolen his car. His Jeep is a malfunctioning money pit and his girlfriend and I have been getting the "it won't start"calls with increasing frequency over the last few months. I'm totally serious. I don't think he's locked it since the summer. Yet, it still greets him, unmolested, time after time, when statistics and L.A. common sense would tell you that someone should have picked the damn thing off by now. Leaving Showcase's SUV unlocked in an open-air lot on MLK Blvd. south of the 10 would increase the chance of theft ten-fold or more. We made sure we had at least $50 in cash between us for the cab and set off down La Brea for the theatre.
Seeing "Dreamgirls" at the Crenshaw 15 and seeing "Dreamgirls" in Beverly Hills is like the difference between going to a packed church on Sunday with a full-scale gospel choir and sitting through an 8 AM Latin mass presided by an octogenarian, visually impaired priest. The first hand went into the air only 2o minutes into the film. The first "go on, girl!" followed three minutes later as Jennifer Hudson launched into her first solo in "Move." And every male in the audience laughed long and hard at whatever came out of Eddie Murphy's mouth. Murphy certainly impressed me, turning in the only worthwhile performance of the last 6 years of his career which have included gems like "Daddy Day Care" and "The Haunted Mansion."
"Dreamgirls", though, was all about Jennifer Hudson. Anyone else in the frame simply ceased to exist while she was singing Beyonce faded into the background like an extra and her voice sounded thin and plain compared to Hudson's searing belt. Even the written-especially-for- Beyonce-11 o'clock number "Listen" couldn't take her voice anywhere near Hudson's level. "I Am Telling You I Am Not Going" was met with thundering applause from the audience. Get this girl an Oscar nomination... or at least give her a Golden Globe win tonight.
We exited the theatre into the 9 P.M. darkness and prop bet on whether or not the car was still there. With Showcase's luck, I knew we'd be driving that heap of junk home.
4 hours. On MLK Blvd. Unlocked. It was still there.