Coming off her critically-acclaimed performance in NBC’s live production of “The Wiz,” Amber Riley is now taking on another iconic theater role.
The “Glee” actress has signed on to play Effie White in the upcoming revival of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” on London’s West End. Riley’s transatlantic stage debut was first revealed by Daily Mail columnist Baz Bamigboye.
The 29-year-old “Dancing with the Stars” champion is not foreign to the music of “Dreamgirls,” having performed two of the play’s signature numbers “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” and “I Am Changing” on the Ryan Murphy-produced “Glee.”
Riley joins a list of American stars that have recently had great success on the London stage. Grammy winner Michelle Williams (“Chicago“), Tony Award winner Heather Headley (“The Bodyguard Musical“), “American Idol” star Trenyce Cobbins (“Thriller Live”) and Tony Award winner Patina Miller (“Sister Act: The Musical”) have all starred in productions on the West End.
“Dreamgirls” is an iconic musical about the trials and tribulations of a black girl group during the 1960s. Originally opening on Broadway in 1981, the show made stars out of its lead actresses Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine and Jennifer Holliday.
In 1982, Holliday won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for playing Effie in “Dreamgirls.” The same role would earn former “American Idol” finalist Jennifer Hudson an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and 30 other awards in 2007 for the “Dreamgirls” film adaptation.
The Michael Bennett-crafted classic will make its U.K. debut at London’s Savoy Theatre in October. Pre-sale tickets for the production go on sale this spring.
Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw has signed on to direct and choreograph the production.