One night only!: VIP visitor Jennifer Holliday steals the show, inspires the stars, at Duke Ellington School's "Dreamgirls"
Jennifer Holliday was expected to be just a VIP guest at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts' Thursday benefit performance of "Dreamgirls," the musical that made her a star 30 years ago. But once you're Effie, you're always Effie: To the surprise of the student cast, the 50-year-old Tony winner stepped back into her old role, joining them onstage for several songs, reports our colleague Hamil Harris. She even came prepared for a mid-show costume change!
Holliday didn't just show 'em how it's done. The R&B belter, whose star waned after her breakthrough hit, also told the aspiring young stars How It Works. "There are a lot of years between prodigy and legend," she told the cast in a post-show gathering. "A girl is only new until she is 29. When you are 30, you ain't new no more."
Er, any words of encouragement? Holliday -- svelter than at her height of fame (no dairy, no chocolate) and focused now on gospel -- told the kids to "stay ready. There were many years when I was down and out and nobody remembered me. But when they found me, I said, 'Give me the microphone.' "
Continue on to see video from Holliday's visit.
(Hamil Harris/The Washington Post)
The Reliable Source
| December 12, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
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