Tony Winner Anika Noni Rose to Star in "Dreamgirls" Film; Fantasia a Possibility | Playbill

News Tony Winner Anika Noni Rose to Star in "Dreamgirls" Film; Fantasia a Possibility
Anika Noni Rose, who won a Tony Award for her performance in Caroline, or Change, will be part of the upcoming film of the hit musical Dreamgirls.
Anika Noni Rose
Anika Noni Rose Photo by Aubrey Reuben and the Internet Movie Database report that Rose will play Lorrell Robinson in the movie musical, which is being produced by DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures. Also set to star are Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx. The latter has put his support behind "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino to play Effie White, although that role has yet to be cast. Foxx told Zap2it, "I think if Fantasia does it, it's outta here. If Fantasia does the movie it's completely in the stratosphere. It's nuts."

Bill Condon, who penned the film's screenplay, will also direct "Dreamgirls," which will employ the original score by Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger. Production for the film is scheduled to begin in January 2006, and the new movie musical is set to hit screens around the country in December of that year.

"Dreamgirls," according to a recent casting release, is described thusly: "Set in the early 1960's to the 1970's, this is the story of the amazing 'Dreams' — three African-American girl singers from the projects of Detroit who break their hearts on the path to stardom."

Dreamgirls, which concerns the rise of a Supremes-like singing group amid a flurry of infighting, debuted at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre on Dec. 9, 1982, playing 1,521 performances before closing Aug. 11, 1985. The original cast featured Obba Babatundé, Cleavant Derricks, Loretta Devine, Ben Harney, Jennifer Holliday, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Deborah Burrell. The show lost the Tony for Best Musical to Maury Yeston’s Nine. A 1987 revival at the Ambassador Theatre starred Lillias White, Alisa Gyse, Kevyn Morrow, Weyman Thompson and Arnetia Walker.

Dreamgirls song titles include "One Night Only," "I Am Changing," "When I First Saw You," "Family" and Effie's first-act show stopper, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." Anika Noni Rose won a 2004 Tony Award for her performance as Emmie Thibodeaux in Caroline, or Change. She has also appeared on Broadway in Footloose as well as in the City Center Encores! mounting of Purlie. She won an Obie Award for her work in Off-Broadway's Eli's Comin', and her other theatrical credits include Threepenny Opera, Tartuffe and Insurrection: Holding History. Rose has been seen on screen in "Hack" and "Third Watch."

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