Hot Clip of the Day: The DREAMGIRLS Cast Really Was A Family!

Last updated May 15th, 2020 by BroadwayBox Staff
Hot Clip of the Day: The DREAMGIRLS Cast Really Was A Famil…

Photo by Martha Swope/NYPL for the Performing Arts

Each day, the Bbox team trolls YouTube for the hot clip—sometimes it's a brand-new moment and sometimes it's a throwback to an oldie but goodie. No matter what praise hands are shot up, pearls are clutched and the repeat button is hit.

Dreamgirls Audition in L.A. 1983 (Michael Bennett, Michael Peters and Cleavant Derricks)

Ulterior Motives: Happy Birthday to the original James Thunder Early from Dreamgirls Cleavant Derricks! We learned so much prepping for this Hot Clip of the Day!

Cleavant was pulling double duty in the sensational Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Not only was he playing James "Thunder" Early but he also was responsible for those amazing vocal arrangements in the show. We love an audition process video and going behind the scenes in casting. This special news report covers the audition held in Los Angeles for the Dreamgirls national tour where Cleavant was running the singing auditions. Jennifer Holliday was reprising her Tony winning role as Effie (and later was replaced by Miss Lillias White). We aren't sure if anyone highlighted in this video ended up in the cast BUT we learned something so interesting.

Not only does Cleavant Derricks have a twin brother, his twin brother Clinton Derricks-Carroll originated the role of James (that his brother originated) in the opening of the show's national tour. In this article's photo Cleavant is on the left and Clinton is on the right. But wait, there's more! Seated in front of them in the photo are Terry and Deborah Burrell. Actress Deborah Burrell originated the role of Michelle Morris in Dreamgirls on Broadway and the tour while her sister Terry Burrell (at some point we aren't sure of the dates) also played Michelle Morris (and Lorell!) on Broadway. Isn't that the coolest? All the talented siblings!

Ultimate 🙌 🙌 moment: We love the auditionee who sang "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" and the enthusiasm of the woman who sang "Fame." You can't help but love the interview moments with director and co-choreographer Michael Bennett and his excitement discussing the auditions. The ultimate moment though is the enthusiastic and confident performer who chose "Proud Mary" as his audition song. at 3:32.