PCS Blog

The Dreams and The Supremes

Posted by Allyson Walters | 23 October 2014


Mary Patton as Deena Jones, Nattalyee Randall as Effie Melody White and Lexi Rhoades as Lorrell Robinson in "Dreamgirls" at PCS

The similarities between the show and actual events that occurred with The Supremes lead to belief that the creators did actually base the musical's story on that of The Supremes; however the producers denied any connections to avoid lawsuits from Motown, Berry Gordy, and the Supremes.

 


The Supremes Performing in London 1965.

Both the Supremes and the Dreams started off with "ettes" in their group's name. The Supremes were originally the Primettes, the Dreams start off as the Dreamettes.

 


Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard

In the beginning, Florence Ballard originally sang lead, just as Effie White does in the musical.

 


Diana Ross 1975.

Diana Ross was chosen as the lead singer of the Supremes because of her distinctive, softer, commercial voice, just as Deena Jones is chosen as the lead singer of the Dreams.

 


Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, and Florence Ballard pose for Berry Gordy Jr.

The storyline of the love affair between Deena Jones and Curtis Taylor Jr. was modeled on Diana Ross and Berry Gordy Jr.'s love affair which eventually led to his emphasis on her career rather than that of the group.



Florence Ballard.

Florence Ballard missed performances, recording sessions, allegedly "faked" illnesses, and gained weight, all of which resulted in her being fired from the group in Las Vegas in 1967. The character of Effie White goes through the same experience.

 


Diana Ross and The Supremes Performing in the late 1960s.

The Supremes became "Diana Ross & the Supremes" in 1967 while in Las Vegas. The Dreams became "Deena Jones & the Dreams" in 1967 while in Las Vegas.

 


The original Broadway production of Dreamgirls opened December 20, 1981 at the Imperial Theatre. It closed August 11, 1985 after 1,522 performances.

 

The film version of Dreamgirls  premiered nationwide in December of 2006 . The release coincides almost to the day of the 25th anniversary of the Broadway opening of the production.

 


Mary Wilson 1966.

Mary Wilson loved Dreamgirls so much that she named her first autobiography

Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme

 

Dreamgirls  runs through November 2.

 

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