Reality stars Voice UK's Ruth Brown and The X Factor's Karen Mav will alternate the role of Effie in the musical Dreamgirls sharing Wednesday evening performances. As previously announced, Glee's Amber Riley will star as Effie in the West End production. Directed by Casey Nicholaw, Dreamgirls opens at the Savoy Theatre on 14th December 2016 (previews from 19th November).
Effie has two huge numbers: And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going and I’m Changing and Dreamgirls producer Sonia Friedman said she, Casey Nicholaw (the show’s director and choreographer) and Nick Finlow (the musical supervisor) knew that whoever won the role of Effie would not be able to perform all eight shows, every week saying the role is absolutely massive and whoever you are, however great your voice is, however experienced and vocally strong you are, you are going to need to rest it’ Finlow added Effie is one of the most demanding vocals in musical theatre, and the show is incredibly lucky to have the amazing Amber Riley.He said both Mav and Brown have the vocal range to play Effie and boasted that Dreamgirls had three unique young ladies preparing for the role of a lifetime.
More casting news is to follow. The original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, opened in 1981 starring Jennifer Holliday and won six Tony Awards. In 2006 Dreamgirls was adapted into an Oscar winning film starring Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.