Richard M. Parison, Jr., the Prince's associate artistic director and a recent Barrymore Award nominee for his production of The Big Bang in Philadelphia will stage the new production of the glamorous Motown-era musical by Henry Krieger (music) and Tom Eyen (book and lyrics). The music director will be Jesse Vargas (Bare: A Pop Opera, Altar Boyz Off-Broadway and Joyful Noise: The Clay Aiken National Tour). Mercedes Ellington (Play On! on Broadway, Ambassador Satch at Prince Music Theater) will choreograph.
Performances play the Prince, in Philly, Dec. 3-31.
The cast includes Chauntee Schuler (Producers on tour) as Deena Jones, Nova Payton (Smokey Joe's Cafe tour) as Effie, Alexis Sims (Walnut Street Theatre's Finian's Rainbow) as Michelle Morris, Kevyn Morrow (Broadway and London's Ragtime) as Curtis Taylor Jr., Eugene Fleming (Broadway's Fosse and Never Gonna Dance) as James Thunder Early, Forrest McClendon (Disney workshop of Aida) as CC White, Brian Anthony Wilson (HBO's "The Wire") as Marty, James T. Lane (national tour of Cinderella with Eartha Kitt) as Wayne, with Emily MacNamara, Piper Arpan, Renee Chambers, Erika Vaughn, Dawn Marie Watson, Denver Taylor, Mike Newman, Ricky Whitfied, Greg Baker, James Clark and Paul Mansfied. Casting for the role of Lorrell has not been announced.
Dreamgirls, the 1981 Broadway hit originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, is currently being developed into a motion picture. The Tony Award-winning show focuses on the trials of a Supremes-like singing African-American girl group and their struggle to make it to the top — "including heartache, triumphs, breakups and disappointment," according to Prince notes.
The creative team includes scenic designer Todd Edward Ivins, costume designer Mark Marianni, lighting designer Troy Martin-O'Shia and sound designer Nick Kouritides. For Prince ticket information, call the UPStages box office at (215) 569-9700 or visit www.princemusictheater.org.