Apollo Auditions for Dreamgirls Tour Postponed Due to Hudson Family Tragedy

News   Apollo Auditions for Dreamgirls Tour Postponed Due to Hudson Family Tragedy
Producers of the upcoming national tour of Dreamgirls have postponed the New York auditions for the production in light of the current tragic events surrounding Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson.

Hudson, who earned a Best Featured Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Effie White in the 2006 film adaptation of Dreamgirls, recently lost her mother and brother in a shooting that occurred in her South Side Chicago childhood home on Oct. 24.

It has also been confirmed by Chicago police that the body of Hudson's seven-year old nephew, Julian King, who has been missing since Oct. 24, has been found in a white Chevy Suburban on Oct. 27.

"Due to the horrific personal tragedy Jennifer Hudson is undergoing, we feel this is not the time for a talent search for a role that is so closely connected with her," said Dreamgirls producer John Breglio in a statement. "Our prayers and thoughts are with Ms. Hudson and her family at this tragic time."

Open call auditions for Dreamgirls' central trio of The Dreams, including the roles of Deena Jones, Lorrell Robinson and Effie White, were to take place Nov. 1 at Harlem's Apollo Theatre. Auditions will now be held Nov. 22 at the Apollo Theatre.

Further details will be announced in the coming days. Casting directors are looking for women in their 20s for the three roles. Produced by Vienna Waits Productions, LLC and John Breglio, the new touring production of Dreamgirls is scheduled to begin in fall 2009.

Robert Longbottom, who staged Henry Krieger and Bill Russell's Side Show on Broadway and earned a Tony Award nomination for his choreography on the 2003 revival of Flower Drum Song, will direct and co-choreograph the national tour of Dreamgirls.

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

The musical, which follows the rise of a Supremes-like singing group, turned Tony-winner Jennifer Holliday into an overnight star when it debuted in 1981 at the Imperial Theatre. The 2006 film adaptation featured a screenplay and direction by Bill Condon. The Apollo Theater is located in Harlem at 253 W. 125th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and Frederick Douglass Blvd.

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