Culture

Traveling With the Oscars

by Matthew Link

The Flick: Dreamgirls (2006)

Oscar Nods: Winner for Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Hudson) and Best Sound Mixing; eight nominations total.

The Setting: Detroit, with some scenes in Miami and Los Angeles

Come See About Me: Detroit may have quite the nasty public image to live down, but don't let that stop you from getting down in Motown. Dreamgirls, based on the (now dated) Broadway musical, is the thinly veiled story of Berry Gordy, Jr., founder of Motown Records, and his protégée gal group the Supremes, who grew up in the city's rough Brewster-Douglas Projects (seen briefly in the film—hard to imagine Beyoncé living there!). Kids who don't know their Diana Ross from their Martha Reeves still think of Detroit as a musical capital: It's the birthplace of techno and has bred such varied musicians as Eminem, Kid Rock, and The White Stripes. You can still throw on a tight sequined dress and afro wig and relive the glory days at the memorabilia-packed Motown Historical Museum, a humble two-story home where Gordy lived and recorded a ton of groovy hits for Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and the Jackson Five. Stop in for a tour of the ornate, historic Fox Theatre, where the Supremes and Aretha Franklin used to do gigs. The best place to get into the groove is tiny Bert's Marketplace, where locals chow down on ribs roasted over the steel drum barbecue on the sidewalk while listening to live jazz, blues, and Motown sounds. It's where Harry Connick, Jr., hangs when he's in town.

Motown Historical Museum
Tel: 313 875 2264
Closed Sundays and Mondays

Fox Theatre
Tel: 313 471 6611

Bert's Marketplace
Tel: 313 567 2030

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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