Dreamgirls - announces cast
Producer John Breglio and the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc. have announced the cast for the premiere engagement at the Apollo Theater, prior to the national tour of the musical Dreamgirls.
Dreamgirls will introduce Moya Angela as 'Effie White' and feature, as The Dreams, Syesha Mercado as 'Deena Jones,' Adrienne Warren as 'Lorrell Robinson,' and Margaret Hoffman as 'Michelle Morris' with Chaz Lamar Shepherd as 'Curtis Taylor, Jr.,' Chester Gregory as 'James ï¿½Thunderï¿½ Early,' Trevon Davis as 'C.C. White' and Milton Craig Nealy as Marty Madison .
The cast of 26 will also feature Tallia Brinson, Felicia Boswell, Ronald Duncan, Talitha Farrow, Brittney Griffin, James Harkness, Robert Hartwell, Eric Jackson, Chauncey Jenkins, Jared Joseph, Nikki Kimbrough, Brittany Lewis, Douglas Lyons, Kimberly Marable, Jarran Muse, Amaker Smith and Marc Spaulding.
Dreamgirls tells the rags-to-riches story of an up-and-coming 1960ï¿½s girl group from Chicago, and the triumphs and tribulations that come with fame and fortune.
The musical is directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom with co-choreography by Shane Sparks, scenic design by Robin Wagner, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington, sound design by Acme Sound Partners, media design by Howard Werner for Lightswitch and is produced by John Breglio for Vienna Waits Productions.
Following the Apollo Theater engagement, the national tour of Dreamgirls will play Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago, Boston, Columbus, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Costa Mesa, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and more.
ï¿½When we started planning this new production, I knew it was time to finally bring Dreamgirls to the Apollo. Throughout its history, the Apollo has been known as a proving ground where new talent has been discovered and nurtured and careers have been launched,ï¿½ said producer John Breglio. ï¿½And thatï¿½s what Dreamgirls is all about. The very first scene in Dreamgirls takes place right here at the Apolloï¿½s famous Amateur Night. What better place to launch a new production of this groundbreaking show?ï¿½
The original Broadway production of Dreamgirls opened 20 Dec 1981 at the Imperial Theatre and won six 1982 Tony Awards. It closed on Broadway 11 Aug 1985, after 1,522 performances.
Dreamgirls features music by Henry Krieger and lyrics and book by Tom Eyen. The original Broadway production was directed by Michael Bennett and choreographed by Bennett and Michael Peters.
Dreamgirls was adapted into a motion picture by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, released in Dec 2006.
Moya Angela (Effie White) joins the cast from The Lion Kingï¿½s Gazelle and Cheetah tours (Disney). Her roles included Rafiki and Shenzi. She is a native of Indianapolis, IN where she won two Encore Awards in her roles as Sara in Ragtime and Adapearle in The Wiz. Moya will be making her NYC debut.
Syesha Mercado (Deena Jones) as a recording artist, Syesha released a single with two-time Grammy nominated jazz legend Boney James. She came to national attention as the second runner-up in the seventh season of Foxï¿½s ï¿½American Idol.ï¿½ She also participated in the subsequent ï¿½American Idolï¿½ LIVE Tour 2008, performing 53 concerts in 49 cities both in the United States and Canada.
Chaz Lamar Shepherd (Curtis Taylor, Jr.) has co-starred in many TV shows (7th Heaven, The Parkers, The Game...) and as Harpo on Broadway's The Color Purple. After being on the Billboard charts 3 times in 2009, Chaz's soul/R&B album will be released during the Dreamgirls tour. Chaz's gospel work was Grammy nominated in 2009.
Chester Gregory (James ï¿½Thunderï¿½ Early) an award-winning actor/performer/singer/songwriter, made his NY debut at the Apollo Theatre as "Jackie Wilson" in The Jackie Wilson Story (Jeff, AUDELCO, BTAA and Black Excellence Awards). His Broadway cresits: Hairspray (Seaweed), Cry-Baby (Dupree) and Tarzan (Terk).
Adrienne Warren (Lorrell Robinson) is a recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College. She is the understudy for the role of 'Dorothy' in the Encores! Summer Stars production of The Wiz.
Trevon Davis (C.C. White) was one of the seven finalists on BETï¿½s Sunday Best, hosted by Kirk Franklin, and he also appeared in MTVï¿½s hit series Making the Band, produced by Sean ï¿½Diddyï¿½ Combs.
Margaret Hoffman (Michelle Morris) recently graduated from Sam Houston State University, obtaining a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. While attending school, Margaret has performed in several theatrical and entertainment events at the premiere theatres of Houston, TX, such as The Ensemble Theatre and Theatre Under The Stars.
Milton Craig Nealy (Marty Madison) has been in the original Broadway and 1987 revival productions. He also created the roles of Agwe in Once on This Island and Four-Eyed Moe in Five Guys Named Moe on Broadway. Other Broadway credits include: Caroline, or Change, John in Miss Saigon (as well as the London and Australian productions), Mail and the revival of Ainï¿½t Misbehavinï¿½.
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