For any other ancients who remember the oldies being the 40s, 50s and 60s, Dreamgirls is a fun reminder of a time gone by. Based on the Supremes it is a story of African Americans rise in the music industry beginning in the early 1960s. Effie, Lorrell and Deena are childhood friends who grew up in humble beginnings and are hoping to make it big from singing. They join a talent contest to bring the audience to a standing applause though they do not win first prize. Still, Curtis Taylor Jr., a producer notices them and offers for them to perform as back-up for James 'Thunder' Early.
Effie does not want to accept the offer as she views singing back-up to be a trap, and none of them have met Curtis before but he convinces them that if they want to proceed with their talents they need an overseer to look out for them. They agree and the girls go on tour in a bus across the U.S.
Eventually James is dropped from the group because of a drug habit and raunchy behavior that clashes with the needs of the sales. The girls form The Dreams, and Curtis remains their manager. But like with any tight knit group issues become emotional when Curtis begins sleeping with Deena, who is the prettiest, while he had been a couple with Effie.
Effie dramatically leaves The Dreams, and when she tries to return she finds she cannot. Her place has been taken. Effie spends all her money in a few years and ends up on assistance with her daughter, who is likely Curtis's child as well.
James reunites with The Dreams, but eventually succumbs to a heroine overdose in a hotel room. Though he was married he had been seeing Lorrell for eight years and she is devastated by his loss. The Dreams carry on with ups and downs and changing style to the times, to give a final performance during the late 1970s.
Though, the music is modernized from its original form the story holds true to what the music industry did for African Americans. If something sounds good to an audience they are going to buy the music no matter what color the person is who sings it. It opened up doors for African Americans to be viewed as career professionals and as leaders rather than being in servile positions behind the scenes.
By Sarah Bahl