Dreamgirls: Amber Riley to play Effie in West End production
Effie, we all got plaaaaane tickets.
Glee star Amber Riley has landed the iconic role of Effie White — the showstopping part that earned a Tony Award for Jennifer Holliday and an Academy Award for Jennifer Hudson — in an upcoming production of Dreamgirls headed to London’s West End this fall.
The revival, directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (Aladdin, The Book of Mormon), will play the Savoy Theatre in November 2016.
It’s the West End debut for Riley, as well as the UK premiere of Dreamgirls, which opened on Broadway in 1981 and earned six Tony Awards. A 2006 film adaptation starred Beyonce, Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Anika Noni Rose, Danny Glover, and Eddie Murphy.
Dreamgirls follows the rise and fall of a trio of young Chicago singers, who endure the trials of show business and the often gut-wrenching decisions artists must make on their way to the top. The show, penned by Henry Krieger and Tom Eyen, includes such hits like “One Night Only,” “I Am Changing,” “Dreamgirls,” and the act-one finale ballad, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” which Riley will perform as the (spoiler alert from the 1981 theater community) ousted band member, Effie.
Riley is best known for her role on Fox’s musical Glee, which actually saw her perform some of Effie’s signature songs throughout the series (she tackled “And I Am Telling You” as early as season one). Riley recently appeared as Addaperle on NBC’s The Wiz Live and competed on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars; onstage, she debuted professionally in Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Parade at New York City Center in 2012.
“I am so honored and excited to not only be playing such an iconic role, but also to be working with Sonia Friedman and Casey Nicholaw,” Riley said in a press statement. “Working on the West End is now a dream realized, I just feel like this is going to be something special!”