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Dreamgirls is one of those Broadway shows that took forever—well, a couple of decades, anyway—to get to the big screen. Part of the explanation may be the modern Hollywood antipathy to musicals. It’s equally likely, however, that the show’s owners wanted to wait until the perfect combination of star power and talent was available to get it right.

By most early accounts, Dreamworks and Paramount did “get it right.” A fictionalized version of the Motown (and Supremes) story, Dreamgirls was written and directed by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey), an unlikely but inspired choice. It stars Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy; most of the early Oscar buzz, however, centers around “supporting” actress and American Idol loser Jennifer Hudson. (Take that, Simon, you smarmy Brit bastard.)

Dreamgirls will open at cinemas all over the region on Christmas Day (Monday, Dec. 25). Check our movie listings for locations, times and shows.

The Callen Sisters

Here’s something you don’t see everyday: An acoustic string duo of guitar and concert harp. Not one of those hand-held Irish models; a taller-than-the-player, Harpo-Marx-style concert harp. That’s what sisters Jessa and Beth Callen will bring to Caffe Lena tomorrow (Friday) night.

Well, that and their acclaimed songs, which “speak with the raw honesty of two young women tackling the tumultuous path life has dealt them.” Speaking of “tumultuous,” the Callen Sisters have earned comparisons to Fiona Apple and Tori Amos. They’ve also just returned to the road, after spending much of November recording tracks for their album debut, which is scheduled for release early next year.

The Callen Sisters will perform tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 22) at 8 PM at Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs). Admission is $10. For reservations and information, call 583-0022.

A Holiday Readers’ Theater

This is the time of year for nostalgia and the ghosts of Christmases past; a time for music and stories. While there is no shortage of opportunities to hear music—Handel’s Messiah, anyone?—public readings of holiday stories aren’t as easy to find.

So, we are happy to relay the news that the Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall will present a program of holiday readings for the whole family Saturday night. Stories by Dickens, Ogden Nash, David Sedaris, Truman Capote and “other favorites” will be read by the talented performers of the Hubbard Hall troupe.

The golden age of storytelling as mass entertainment—when authors like Mark Twain would hit the road and get paid like rock stars—was the 19th century. Even if a town wasn’t big enough to snag someone like Twain, they would still have an opera house where lectures and stories would be presented regularly—a place like the groovy 1878 opera house in Cambridge, Hubbard Hall. Believe us, it will add to the nostalgic atmosphere of the evening.

The Theatre Com pany at Hubbard Hall will present A Holiday Readers’ Theater on Saturday (Dec. 23) at 8 PM at, naturally, Hubbard Hall (25 E. Main St., Cambridge). Tickets are $12, $10 and $5 (stu dents). For more info, call 677-2495.

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