Plus size singer and actress Amber Riley is set to star as Effie White in the West End adaptation of Dreamgirls from the Oscar winning motion picture previously starring Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx. Amber is a seasoned and talented 30 year old who is well known for her role as ‘Mercedes Jones’ in the Golden Globe Award-winning musical comedy, Glee. She has also had a ton of other television appearances including playing ‘Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North’ in the NBC live performance of the musical, The Wiz and competing in Dancing with the Stars.
Dream girls is set to premiere in the UK with preview performances at the Savoy Theatre this November and the opening night is billed as Wednesday 14 December 2016. Amber will be costarring alongside Ibinabo Jack as Lorrell Robinson and Liisi LaFontaine as Deena Jones, making up the soulful singing trio ‘The Dreams’.
Amber revealed to Gay Times Magazine that she’s been praised by Jennifer Holliday, who starred in the original show, and Jennifer Hudson, who took on the role of Effie in the 2006 film adaptation. The star finds their approval very encouraging, especially as the show contains so many big songs, including I Am Changing and One Night Only.
“To get that recognition from the original ladies and for them to be so excited and not worried is so special. It’s also comforting and encouraging, but terrifying, because those ladies… big shoes! They’re big shoes and it takes a lot to do Effie justice,” she shared.
Amber further added she is honoured to be in London and is thankful for the opportunity to get involved in the theatre scene. She especially feels privileged to be working alongside such a skilled cast, as well as director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw.
“Theatre is appreciated differently here in London and the calibre of actors that do plays and musicals here is an honour,” she smiled. “I just feel like it’s another league, so it’s an honour to be asked to the West End.”