Talk about typecasting! Jennifer Holliday, who triumphed as a scorned songbird in Dreamgirls, guest stars on Ally McBeal tonight as Lisa Knowles, a jilted choir singer.
"The pastor of the church breaks up with Lisa, and she's not happy about it — at all," Holliday tells Dish. "He's becoming worried because Lisa is choosing songs that don't exactly belong in a church setting. But she's upset! Anyway, he goes to Fish (Greg Germann), who is his attorney, and asks Fish to talk to Lisa so she'll stop singing these crazy songs."
Holliday belts out "I'm So Tired of Being Alone" and Randy Newman's "Political Science" — "which are completely inappropriate for a church setting," she says.
Fish and the others decide Ally is the best person to talk to Lisa, "and the situation really triggers something in Ally," says Holliday. "Lisa's situation forces Ally to confront Billy. I think that's all I'm allowed to say."
The gig was a dream come true for Holliday, who is quite a fan of the show. "This has been such a thrill for me, and working with Calista Flockhart was so much fun. I'm so glad I didn't mess her up, because I'm such a fan. She was so serious."
Ironically, Holliday won't be able to watch the episode: She'll be appearing at New York's Carnegie Hall in "My Favorite Broadway — The Leading Ladies," a concert that will be taped for PBS's Great Performances. She does, however, ask that viewers stay tuned for all of Ally (9 pm/ET, Fox) "because I sing in the bar at the end. I think Lisa just waits there until she gets another boyfriend." — Jonathan Reiner