Friday, February 5
Riley performed the signature tunes "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" and "I Am Changing" from Dreamgirls while playing 'Mercedes Jones' in Fox's Glee. She said working on the London stage is "a dream realized" and "I just feel like this is going to be something special!"
Producer Sonia Friedman told the Mail that when Riley auditioned she "was crying, because I was overwhelmed by the emotion and passion she put into the number. And also crying with utter excitement and pure joy, relief and happiness that this girl was going to be able to give this performance in the UK. Her voice is a gift from God!"
Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, Something Rotten!) will direct and choreograph the production with award winning designers Tim Hatley & Gregg Barnes creating the sets and costumes
The London show will open more than 30 years after the original Broadway production, which was directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett and starred Jennifer Holliday as 'Effie'. It won six 1982 Tony Awards, for Best Book (Tom Eyen), Best Actor (Ben Harney), Best Actress (Holliday), Best Featured Actor (Cleavant Derricks), Best Lighting Design (Tharon Musser), and Best Choreography (Bennett & Michael Peters). Bill Condon's 2006 film adaptation featured Jennifer Hudson as 'Effie' with an all star cast including Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy
With music by Henry Krieger and book & lyrics by Tom Eyen and nspired by R&B music acts in 1960s America, DREAMGIRLS charts the tumultuous journey of a young female singing trio, from Chicago, Illinois called 'The Dreams', as they learn the hard lesson that show business is as tough as it is fabulous and features the fabulous classic songs "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," "I Am Changing" and "One Night Only."