With the continued shutdown of theatres across the country, artists and creatives have turned to social media platforms to come together and collaborate. Ratatouille and Bridgerton are two titles that found success as musical adaptations on TikTok, but that’s not the only platform producing musical content.
Enter: Clubhouse. Created in 2020, the iPhone app allows users to host and join chat rooms to experience panels and conversations—all through audio. There’s a variety of topics to explore, from sports to wellness to technology to of course, Broadway.
In December, a production of The Lion King took the Clubhouse stage, and now, Dreamgirls is stepping into the spotlight in celebration of Black History Month. Creatives Brandon Patterson and Sydney Connors are co-directors and executive producers, with Leroy Church as casting/artistic director. The team has also been working with the original Broadway composer, Henry Kreiger, original Tony-nominated Deena, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Glee star Amber Riley, who won an Olivier award for her portrayal of Effie in the 2016 West End production.
“The audition room booked full capacity with over 5,600 participants,” says Church. “We nearly broke the Clubhouse app. I trended #2 on U.S. Twitter for my audition tagline, ‘Thank you, Happy New Year.’ It has been thrilling to say the least.”
Performances are set February 27, at 3PM ET and 7PM ET, and February 28, at 1PM and 7PM ET. Another exciting component of this Clubhouse production is that each performance features a different cast, see the graphics below for the casting set for each showcase. Glee and Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist star Alex Newell was recently announced as playing Effie in the final performance of the weekend.
WE’RE YOUR DREAMGIRLS BOYYSSSSSSSS!!!!
Meet the OFFICIAL OFFICIAL #DreamgirlsCH Cast in FULL!
WHO DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET EFFIE?⭐️
...and there’s a Secret Michelle�� pic.twitter.com/6SZwfkjnPQ— Dreamgirls on Clubhouse�� (@DreamgirlsCH) January 18, 2021
Because Clubhouse is a fairly new app, how to use it remains a mystery for some. We outline how to join the audience for a performance of Dreamgirls below:
-Create a Clubhouse account: You must have a Clubhouse account to be in the audience for the performances. Clubhouse is invite-only, so find out if one of your friends is already on the app and can extend an invite via your phone number. You can also download the app and join the waitlist. Clubhouse is only available on iPhones.
-Set your preferences and follow friends already on the app: You can find friends from your contacts list and follow them on Clubhouse. You’ll also be offered a range of topics to follow based on your interests.
-Follow “On Broadway” under Clubs: In Clubhouse’s search functionality, you can find both people and clubs to follow. Click on the magnifying glass in the upper left hand corner and type “On Broadway” in the search bar on the Explore page. Make sure the tab is switched to “Clubs.” When “On Broadway” pops up as an option, select it and tap the “Follow” button on the main page. You’ll also be able to follow individual creatives, like Church, who are involved in the production.