"Glee" Star Amber Riley Is Effie in London Premiere of Dreamgirls | Playbill

News "Glee" Star Amber Riley Is Effie in London Premiere of Dreamgirls Amber Riley, best known for her role as Mercedes Jones in "Glee," is to take to the stage to play Effie White in the long-overdue British premiere of Dreamgirls that will begin performances at the Savoy Theatre in November 2016.

The entirely new production will be directed and choreographed by Broadway's Casey Nicholaw, currently represented in the West End by The Book of Mormon and soon to be represented by the transfer of Disney's Aladdin.

Amber Riley

In a press statement, Nicholaw commented, "I am beyond thrilled to be directing and choreographing Dreamgirls in the West End. It was one of the first shows I saw when I moved to New York in 1982 and has been my favourite show ever since. We've begun to assemble a terrific cast of actors here in the UK. We also have a terrific design team lined up—it's going to be a smart and sexy production. I'm so excited about working with Amber. I loved her on "Glee" and when her name came up for this, I thought—Wow, I think she could be incredible—and then when she came in to audition for us, she blew us away!"

Presented in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Friedman commented, "This great, now classic American musical is coming to London at long last, and I couldn't be more excited to confirm that Amber Riley will be joining the cast of Dreamgirls for the West End season… Having met Amber and having had the privilege of hearing her sing two of the iconic songs from Dreamgirls, 'And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going' and 'I Am Changing' – I was left with goosebumps, tingles and tears; I was completely knocked out by this talented performer. London is very lucky to be the first to see her Effie."

With book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Henry Krieger, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony Awards. In 2006 it was adapted into an Oscar winning film starring Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

Tickets will go on sale in spring 2016. Further dates, casting and creative team are to be announced. 

For further details, visit Dreamgirlswestend.com

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