American Idol alum Syesha Mercado — who came in third place during season 7 of the singing competition behind eventual winner David Cook and runner-up David Archuleta — will star as Deena Jones in a new production of Dreamgirls. The production, which will eventually go on a national tour, begins previews Nov. 7, 2009, and officially opens Nov. 22, 2009, in New York City at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater. In total, it will only run for four weeks at the Apollo before going on the road.
The role of Deena was played by singer Beyoncé in the 2005 movie version and by Sheryl Lee Ralph in the original Broadway production, which debuted in 1981. Playing the Dreams alongside Mercado will be Moya Angela as Effie White (the role Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Holliday popularized in the movie and Broadway versions, respectively); Adrienne Warren as Lorrell Robinson; and Margaret Hoffman as Michelle Morris.