Krieger has a history with the Apollo
Most Broadway-centric legiters aren’t known for making frequent trips uptown to the Apollo Theater.But for “Dreamgirls” composer Henry Krieger, the current revival of the musical isn’t his first time at the fabled music venue. It’s been a destination for the Gotham-raised composer since his high school days. “My friends and I were skipping school to go to the Apollo,” he says. Krieger and his friends trekked to the theater to see what were then referred to as “Negro acts” (and in a part of town that was still considered risky). “We knew that if you wanted to see that kind of music, that’s where you went,” he says. As a delinquent member of the high school class of 1963, he caught perfs by some of the legendary musicians of the era, including James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Otis Redding and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Later, at age 25, Krieger became a press agent representing, among other clients, African-American acts that often played the Apollo. All that experience contributed to his knowledge of a music scene that provides the backdrop for “Dreamgirls.” “In retrospect, it looks like a pattern,” Krieger says.