!! Jennifer Hudson has large shoes to fill !!

In case you hadn’t heard, I am very excited to see the new Dreamgirls movie when it opens everywhere on Christmas Day. In the meantime, I have been diverting myself in other ways, like watching this clip of Miss Jennifer Holiday‘s performance of the anthem “And I Am Telling You” as Effie in the 1982 stage production. (via Feyfriends)
In the words of the gay who uploaded the video to YouTube:

The Most Historic Performance… in Musical-Theatre History, period !!! A performance never seen since… nor will one ever be seen again !!!

I am inclined to agree, though I did love Jennifer Hudson on American Idol, and I think she will make a valiant effort as Effie in the Dreamgirls movie, though I suspect the director will tone her down so she doesn’t upstage Beyonce. Listen to a pre-release recording of Ms. Hudson’s version of the song after the jump.

Jennifer Hudson sings “And I Am Telling You”

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11 Comments on "Jennifer Hudson has large shoes to fill"

  1. The major difference I was able to detect was the concession to the screen from a performance that was originally meant to be heard live on a Broadway stage. I had forgotten the impact of Ms.Holliday’s performance. But I truly was moved by Ms.Hudson’s rendition in the film, regardless of who gets “credit” for its impact on Beyonce’s Oscar bid.

  2. Can’t really say I’ve ever liked Jennifer Holliday’s singing style. Too many grunts and twisted facial expressions. I like Hudson’s version better.
    Sometimes, I just want to hear a singer sing, without all the extraneous sound effects.

  3. well i saw the film on saturday at the sold out ziegfield here in nyc- and beyonce did an amazing job as the less talented deena (she got her own incredible song anyway at the end) but this was jennifer hudson’s movie. people, myself included, crying and flailing at the screen after this song.she absolutely killed it. and yet , the original goes beyond it, beyond most any performance i’ve ever seen-its transcendant and shocking, still. Just untouchable.

  4. I’ve been a fan of Ms. Holiday for most of my life, and am glad that there still are die hard fan out there supporting her.
    But all [email protected]$T aside jennifer hudson blow’s it out of the water I thought her rendition was amazing.

  5. I saw an advance screening a few months ago in San diego.
    You will be leaving the theatre asking “Beyonce who??”
    Jennifer is Fantastic. Definite Oscar contender!

  6. I had the opportunity to see an advance screening of Dreamgirls in NYC last night (12-5-06) & while there’s only one Jennifer Holliday (I saw the broadway production 3x in 1982), Jennifer Hudson gives a commendable performace and genuinely shines. She definitley does a good job at filling such “big shoes”. The movie was fantastic!

  7. There’s a big cover piece in the Toronto Star today about Jennifer Hudson and the Oscar buzz surrounding her performance.

  8. I saw an early screening on Sat., and you’ll be surprised that Bill Condon lets Jennifer Hudson shine. In fact, I would argue that Hudson is much more the star than Ms. Knowles is. The folks in the audience were crying and arose to a standing ovation after Mr. Hudson’s performance of “I’m Telling You.” No Joke.

  9. I too was there to see Jennifer Holiday in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls. I saw it early and had not been tipped off to what was to come. Neither was the middle aged black woman behind me evidently. In the middle of her amazing performance of “And I am Telling You”, she was overcome by the spirit and screamed out so all could hear…”Spoon feed it to him Honey!” And Jennifer sure did!

  10. Blah. There are some songs that you really just HAVE to be a big fat black woman to sing. Call me when she gains 100 lbs. In the meantime, I’ll stick to lip synching to Ms. Holliday while I dance around my living room.

  11. Here’s an 11 year old girl’s performance of this song on America’s Got Talent:

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