A Musical Dream
In 1981, the musical Dreamgirls opened on Broadway. Dreamgirls tells the story of a singing girl group, the Dreams, who rise from humble beginnings in Chicago to become world-famous stars. At the end of the first act, one of the original Dreams, Effie, is forced out of the group because of her weight problems and conflict with the group's manager. After Effie leaves, another Dream, Deena Jones, is promoted to lead singer.
Though Dreamgirls was based on many different sources, it was obvious that the Dreams were modeled after the Supremes. The musical, which was a huge hit, was directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett. Bennett had also created the musical A Chorus Line and was a big Supremes fan.
Diana expressed anger that the story of the Supremes had been used without her consent. Mary, however, was a big fan of the show. Like many Broadway audiences, Mary enjoyed the music, the performances, and incredible costumes. She thought it was a fair portrayal of the history of the Supremes and their relationship with Motown Records. In fact, Mary liked the show so much that she titled her first autobiography Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme. The book was published in 1986.