Somewhat disturbing press release we got Tuesday:
JENNIFER HOLLIDAY BRINGS DREAMGIRLS EXCLUSIVELY TO E! WITH A LIVE PERFORMANCE ON THE RED CARPET AT THE OSCARS
Original Effie Will Perform “And I Am Telling You, I’m Not Going”
LIVE On E!’s “Countdown To The Red Carpet: The 2007 Academy Awards®” Show
Join me after the jump in shaking your heads in dismay.
addCredit(“Jennifer Holliday: Jemal Countess/WireImage.com”)
So, as any good Dreamgirls fan knows, Jennifer Holliday is the original “And I Am Telling You” diva, whose performance at the 1982 Tony Awards is the stuff of legend. Beloved by musical theater students and gay men for the past 20 years, it stands as the greatest scenery-chewing, bile-spewing, gut-it-out 10 o’clock number in history. It’s been imitated for years, by all sorts of people, and while the trepidation of those who love it has been somewhat assuaged by J.Hud’s sparkling performance in the movie, it still stands as something sacred.
And now, the fine folks at E! — askers of inappropriate questions, assessors of hairstyles and footwear, droppers of major award trophies — have decided to dust off Ms. Holliday for one night only to perform during their Oscar preshow.
I don’t know about this, PopWatchers. While I celebrate E!’s sudden (and uncharacteristic) nod to something older than Lindsay Lohan, I still feel like this is not only kind of exploitative but really, really depressing and destined to do damage to the battleship-sized memories we have of that ancient, earth-shattering rendition. I’m not saying Ms. Holliday can’t pull it off… I’m wondering if she should have to.
Your thoughts? Do you think this is J.Holl’s decision, or did E! make her an offer she couldn’t refuse? Is it rude to J.Hud to trot her out? Can anyone be expected to perform at their best in the chaotic conditions of a red carpet? And maybe, just maybe, might we someday leave the past in the past, simple and pure and of its time, an attic of memories that we don’t need to pick through looking for scraps of tin to place in the sun and call shiny?