- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 5, 2006

One night only

The “Dreamgirls” momentum continues to build in advance of the film’s Christmas Day opening.

During Monday’s New York premiere at Manhattan’s famed Ziegfeld Theatre, 2004 “American Idol” castoff Jennifer Hudson — who portrays the character Effie Melody White — got a standing ovation in the middle of the movie when she finished singing “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.” When the film was over, there was another standing O, and the entire audience stood still and watched the main end credits, according to a story reported yesterday by Foxnews.com.

Co-star Beyonce was long gone by then. She worked the red carpet, did her publicity and then split with boyfriend Jay-Z, who was celebrating his 37th birthday. However, the movie’s other stars — Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Miss Hudson, Danny Glover, writer-director Bill Condon and lots of Paramount-Viacom officials (starting with studio CEO Brad Grey) — were all in attendance at Gotham Hall on Broadway after the premiere. So were Queen Latifah, Liam Neeson and wife Natasha Richardson and other VIP guests, who said they were bowled over by the film.

“That’s not my singing voice you hear,” Mr. Murphy said, explaining that he developed an individual vocal style for his character, soul singer James “Thunder” Early, in the film. “I’m acting. My real voice is like it was on ‘Party All the Time,’ ” his hit record from the 1980s.

Mr. Murphy’s Early is James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Marvin Gaye all rolled into one. As it turns out, the funnyman used to live on the same street as Mr. Pickett in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., although they never met.

Mr. Murphy (who, according to Associated Press, attended the premiere with Tracey Edmonds, ex-wife of singer-songwriter Babyface) was asked whether he had ever seen an audience react to a movie like this before.

“Never at a premiere,” he said, sounding a little stunned.

A place in history

Rocky Balboa’s boxing robe and gloves will share the same home as Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers, Abraham Lincoln’s top hat and Thomas Edison’s light bulb.

Actor and director Sylvester Stallone yesterday donated memorabilia from his “Rocky” movies to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

“I knew I was getting old, but I didn’t think I would be with the dinosaurs so soon,” Mr. Stallone told AP. “No, actually, I’m really unbelievably overwhelmed.”

The actor, 60, wore the red-and-yellow boxing robe in 1976’s “Rocky.” His new film, “Rocky Balboa,” opens Dec. 22.

Try, try again

Lawyers who filed a $30 million lawsuit against the makers of the hit movie “Borat” said Monday they would refile the suit after a judge told them they must make specific charges if they want their case to have a chance at success, AP reports.

The lawsuit, filed in New York, claims that residents of a remote Romanian village were duped into participating in what they thought was a documentary about poverty rather than the comedy “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

The movie stars Sacha Baron Cohen and has earned more than $100 million in the United States since its Nov. 2 opening.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire


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