Frenchie Davis Is Effie in Dreamgirls for PittsburghCLO Aug. 10-22

News   Frenchie Davis Is Effie in Dreamgirls for PittsburghCLO Aug. 10-22
Frenchie Davis, Norm Lewis and Billy Porter are among those bringing the Motown sound to life in PittsburghCLO's revival of the fast-paced showbiz soap opera Dreamgirls Aug. 10-22.
Frenchie Davis
Frenchie Davis Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Lewis will be the seductive, venal record exec who disses Frenchie Davis' Effie White in the new production at the Benedum Center. *

The busy Lewis, a veteran of Off-Broadway's A New Brain and Broadway's Side Show and Chicago, recently played El Gallo in The Fantasticks in Sacramento and will be Coalhouse in The North Carolina Theatre's Ragtime starting Sept. 11. He's the Berry Gordy-like Curtis Taylor Jr. in Dreamgirls.

The Pittsburgh cast of the new staging of the Motown fairy tale, about a trio of Apollo Theatre aspirants, includes "American Idol" alum Frenchie Davis (Broadway's Rent). She'll share the stage with Vanita Harbour (a Carnegie Mellon University graduate, making her CLO debut) as Deena Jones; Billy Porter (20th anniversary concert of Dreamgirls) as James Thunder Early; Montego Glover (20th anniversary concert of Dreamgirls) as Lorrell Robinson; Ron Kellum as C.C. White; Michael-Demby Cain as Marty); Manoly Farrell as Michelle Moris.

The Henry Krieger-Tom Eyen score includes such songs as "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," "Dreamgirls" and "One Night Only."

Robert Clater, who has directed numerous productions of Dreamgirls, including two national tours, the pre-Broadway tour and many regional productions, stages the show, which was first directed and choreographed in 1981 by Michael Bennett. Lesia Kaye choreographs. Craig Barna (Peter Pan) is musical director.

Dreamgirls was revived on Broadway in 1987 and for a 20th Anniversary Broadway Concert on Sept. 24, 2001. There is talk of plans for a new Broadway revival, unrelated to the Pittsburgh staging, but nothing has been officially announced.

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