Hot on the heels of her former Glee co-star Dianna Agron, Amber Riley is to make her West End debut in the UK premiere of Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre.
Riley who is best known for playing the powerhouse sole diva Mercedes Jones in six seasons of Ryan Murphy’s musical comedy series Glee, will play soulful singer ‘Effie White’ in the production.
On today’s announcement Riley said: “I am so honoured and excited to not only be playing such an iconic role, but also to be working with Sonia Friedman and Casey Nicholaw. Working on the West End is now a dream realised, I just feel like this is going to be something special!”
Riley is no stranger to the stage, her numerous theatre credits include Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Into the Woods and Mystery on the Docks with the Los Angeles Opera and in November 2012, she made her New York stage debut to rave reviews in New York City Center’s Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Parade.
Amber’s additional television appearances include playing ‘Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North’ in the NBC live performance of the musical, The Wiz and competing in Dancing with the Stars, which she won in 2013.
Sonia Friedman, whose company presents Dreamgirls in the West End said: “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.”
Inspired 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 classic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, ‘I Am Changing’ and ‘One Night Only’.
Already a Broadway legend, Dreamgirls became a world-wide hit film in 2006 starring Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé , Eddie Murphy, and Jennifer Hudson. Hudson who portrayed Effie White won the Best Supporting Oscar for her performance.
Dreamgirls will play from 19 November 2016 at the Savoy Theatre.