DIVA TALK: Chatting With Bring It On: The Musical Star Adrienne Warren

By Andrew Gans
31 Aug 2012

Warren and Chester Gregory in Dreamgirls.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Question: What was your first professional role?
Warren: I got my Equity card doing the 25th anniversary of Dreamgirls, actually with Jennifer Holliday. She actually cast me…at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta during my sophomore year of college. I think I was 19, and that's when I got my card… I promised my parents that I would only do shows during the summer so I could graduate because I knew once I stopped then I wouldn't go back! [Laughs.] And, I have a family full of educators, so that was not an option. [Laughs.]

Question: You were in that Dreamgirls and the recent touring one. What were your experiences like in the two different productions?
Warren: Well, the first production, I was in the ensemble, and I got to really dance and just have fun being in the ensemble… Their track is pretty light in Dreamgirls, so I got to watch backstage a lot, and I sat backstage every single night and watched Jennifer Holliday do "And I Am Telling You," and I just soaked it up. And, I remember one time I was in the wrong place at the wrong time… [Laughs.] She came offstage at the end of that number, and she literally just grabbed me, and I'm like a 19-year-old little tiny thing, and she grabbed me. And, she grabs whoever is the closest person near her because she puts so much energy out into that number, so when she gets offstage, she just grabs a person and hugs them, and that was me that day. [Laughs.] It was very crazy! So that was what it was like during that, and then when I was blessed enough to be cast as Lorrell in the tour, that was just insane because we knew this was going to be kind of like a revival of it, and we were starting at the Apollo Theater, and to do that show on the Apollo stage, I can't even explain what that felt like. It was just amazing, and I was elated and just so excited. The energy from that building is just ridiculous, so that was amazing. And then touring with it and not knowing whether or not we were going to make it back to Broadway. It was just a really amazing ride for me because it was my first real, real, real lead as an Equity actress, and I was kind of still out of college… Dreamgirls, in general, is singing an opera, so I had to learn how to pace myself. There were all these lessons that I had to learn just to keep my voice up and to do eight shows a week, and I was not a natural soprano, so it was a big task in that role. It was almost like having a master class because I had to learn so much in such a short period of time. Just to keep up was crazy. [Laughs.] And, now I [can sing] soprano because of that. [Laughs.]


Warren's EP, available on iTunes

Question: In your bio, you say that you have an EP available. What kind of music is that, and where can people find that?
Warren: It is a rock and soul album. I kind of got the rock 'n' roll music bug because I toured with Trans-Siberian Orchestra my senior year of college, and they're a big rock 'n' roll Christmas arena tour. I did a couple of shows with Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, then I completely got the bug, and I was like, "This is amazing. I love this." So my six months off between the out-of-town trial and the tour, I decided to get a band together and work on an EP, and that's what I did… So it's really great to do something that people don't expect from me because I do theatre. And, this is my other love—rock and soul. I'm a huge Tina Turner fan. I love it.

Question: Where would you like to see your career go from here? What's your dream path?
Warren: I would love, love, love to get back into my music. As soon as this starts slowing down a little bit, I'm going to get back into my music and be with my band and do shows and hopefully do a tour somewhere. I have such a love for music, but I also have such a love for acting. I went to school for theatre, so getting into TV and film is definitely my next step. I still want to stay in theatre because theatre has been so great to me, and I love it. There's nothing like live theatre, but definitely TV and film and my music are my next real concentration.

[For tickets visit Telecharge.com or phone (212-239-6200). Visit bringitonmusical.com.]

Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching! E-mail questions or comments to agans@playbill.com.