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Story and photos by Andy ArgyrakisAs one of the most legendary songwriting/production teams in history, Holland-Dozier-Holland penned over 400 compositions, topped the charts 40 times and amassed more than 100 million airplays for an endless stream of classics including "You Can't Hurry Love," "You Keep Me Hangin' On," "Baby I Need Your Loving," "Heat Wave," "Baby Love" and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)." Though brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, along with Lamont Dozier, continued working individually well beyond that golden era of Motown, the trio's only popped up together on extremely rare occasions since disbanding their creative partnership in 1973.
Despite all the time that's passed, these members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame came to Chicago's Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place to publicly proclaim a one off collaborative reunion of entirely new songs for the pre-Broadway musical "First Wives Club" (also a 1996 blockbuster movie featuring Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton). Along with members of the show's creative team and Broadway In Chicago, Holland-Dozier-Holland shared their love for the tale of fiercely loyal friends ditched by their husbands for younger women.
Though it might sound strange for a bunch of guys to identify with a bunch of colorful ladies, they are of course the same folks responsible for many of ultimate girl group The Supremes' biggest hits. Not only will "First Wives Club" feature Diana Ross and company's "Stop In The Name Of Love," plus The Four Tops' "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" and at least a handful more oldies, it also blends completely fresh material written in the Motown style specifically for this production. After their conversation before a rapt afternoon audience, Eddie Holland even performed one of the show's cornerstone cuts- the sentimental "My Heart Wants To Try One More Time"- which proved so poignant his brother Brian and longtime pal Lamont were literally in tears.
The intimate unveiling pushed plenty of emotional buttons regarding both the real life reunion and the touching fictional tale, which makes it's pre-Broadway debut right here in Chicago starring Tony Award winner Faith Prince ("Guys & Dolls"), Christine Sherrill ("Mamma Mia," "Sunset Boulevard") and Carmen Cusack ("Wicked," "South Pacific"). Dates announced thus far span February 17-March 29, 2015 at the Oriental Theatre with additional details at www.broadwayinchicago.com.
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