When the national tour of "Dreamgirls" opens at Harlem's Apollo Theater next weekend, it will include the Oscar-nominated song "Listen," written for the 2006 film. It's the first time the song will be included in a stage production of the musical.
At the Apollo, Syesha Mercado of "American Idol" stars as Deena Jones, and "Listen" already has played a significant role in her career. She used it to audition for the seventh season of "Idol." On the 2008 "American Idol Live" tour, she performed "Listen" in front of thousands across the country.
In the new "Dreamgirls," "Listen" is a duet between Deena Jones and Effie White (Moya Angela), with new lyrics by Willie Reale to accompany Henry Krieger's melody. Cinema's Effie was, of course, another "AI" vet, Jennifer Hudson - who won an Academy Award for the role.
"Dreamgirls" opens at the Apollo next Sunday.