Angela, Mercado, Warren, Hoffman, Shepherd, Gregory to Star in Dreamgirls

News   Angela, Mercado, Warren, Hoffman, Shepherd, Gregory to Star in Dreamgirls Casting has been announced for the upcoming production of Dreamgirls that will launch at New York's Apollo Theatre before its national tour.
Moya Angela, Syesha Mercado, Adrienne Warren and Chestor Gregory
Moya Angela, Syesha Mercado, Adrienne Warren and Chestor Gregory

Moya Angela will head the cast as Effie White, the role created onstage by Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday and preserved on screen by Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson.

Newcomer Angela will be joined by "American Idol" finalist Syesha Mercado as Deena Jones, Adrienne Warren as Lorrell Robinson and Margaret Hoffman as Michelle Morris with Chaz Lamar Shepherd as Curtis Taylor, Jr., Chester Gregory as James "Thunder" Early, Trevon Davis as C.C. White and Milton Craig Nealy as Marty Madison.

The ensemble will comprise Tallia Brinson, Felicia Boswell, Ronald Duncan, Talitha Farrow, Brittney Griffin, James Harkness, Robert Hartwell, Eric Jackson, Chauncey Jenkins, Jared Joseph, Nikki Kimbrough, Brittany Lewis, Douglas Lyons, Kimberly Marable, Jarran Muse, Amaker Smith and Marc Spaulding.

Performances will begin at the Apollo Nov. 7 with an opening scheduled for Nov. 22. The limited run will play the Harlem venue through Dec. 6.

Dreamgirls will be directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom with co-choreography by Shane Sparks, scenic design by Robin Wagner, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington, sound design by Acme Sound Partners, media design by Howard Werner for Lightswitch. John Breglio produces for Vienna Waits Productions.

"When we started planning this new production, I knew it was time to finally bring Dreamgirls to the Apollo. Throughout its history, the Apollo has been known as a proving ground where new talent has been discovered and nurtured and careers have been launched," said producer Breglio in a statement. "And that's what Dreamgirls is all about. The very first scene in Dreamgirls takes place right here at the Apollo's famous Amateur Night. What better place to launch a new production of this groundbreaking show?"

Dreamgirls features music by Henry Krieger and book and lyrics by Tom Eyen. The late Michael Bennett directed and choreographed the original Broadway production; Bennett won a Tony Award for the show's choreography.

Dreamgirls turned Tony winner Jennifer Holliday into an overnight star when it debuted in 1981 at the Imperial Theatre. The 2006 film adaptation, featuring a screenplay and direction by Bill Condon, earned Jennifer Hudson a host of awards, including the Best Featured Actress Oscar for her performance as Effie White.

Following the Apollo Theater engagement, the national tour will play Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago, Boston, Columbus, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Costa Mesa, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and more. For more information visit www.dreamgirlsonstage.com.