Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Broadway Black
Broadway BlackBroadway Black

A Must See

Amber Riley Will Play Effie in ‘Dreamgirls’ on the West End

This is a really special announcement. Back in November when we interviewed Amber Riley for The Wiz Live!, before she blew us all away with her performance as Addaperle in the NBC ratings hit, we asked her if she had an ideal role she’d like to portray. This is what she had to say:

BB: So is this a good transition for you into the theatre community?
AR: Yes. (laughs) I already knew you were gonna ask me that. 
BB: Is there an ideal role that you have?
AR: Yes there is and I can’t talk about it yet. 
BB: For another time?
AR: (Still laughing) Yes for another time. 
Well, it seems that time is now because today it was announced that Ms. Riley will be jetting it over to London and will take on the role of Effie Melody White in the iconic musical Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre. We previously reported that this was a possibility back in August and we’re just glad to see that it’s actually developing in real life. No other casting has been announced but we can only imagine if they start off like this what is bound to happen. Sonia Friedman Productions has acquired the rights to a full West End production of the musical and Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin) will lead and choreograph the musical. Previews will start in November. This year, on December 20th, it will mark the 35th Anniversary of the musical. Now we’re wondering what date opening night will fall on.



The musical, which features music by Henry Krieger and a book and lyrics by Tom Eyen, tells the story of a singing trio of black divas, “The Dreams,” and their rise to stardom in the 60’s. The trio is eventually torn apart by another predictable trio of fame, fortune, and men. The original Broadway production opened on December 20, 1981, and closed on August 11, 1985, after 1,521 performances. The cast starred Sheryl Lee Ralph as “Deena Jones,” Jennifer Holliday as “Effie White,” Loretta Devine as “Lorrell Robinson,” Ben Harney as “Curtis Taylor, Jr.,” Cleavant Derricks as “James “Thunder” Early,” and Obba Babatundé as “C. C. White.”

Now, don’t forgot that Ms. Riley has a little experience with the role from her Fox Tv’s GLEE days. She’s bound to be way beyond this in the role nowadays. Watch below! Also check out the website for the London production HERE.

Written By

Drew Shade is a theatre artist and enthusiast who fosters artistic diversity and excellence for the love of Black theatre artists. He is the Founder/Creative Director of Broadway Black, Off-Book Podcast & The Antonyo Awards. “Have a belief in yourself that is bigger than anyone’s disbelief.” – August Wilson


You May Also Like

Breaking News

Big wheels keep on turning! As we’ve watched for the past year many Broadway, Off-Broadway, and West End productions fall silent as the coronavirus...

Events and Happenings

Slowly but surely, live theatre is reopening on the West End. And Juliet announced plans to reopen in May 2021 after closing due to London...

Across The Pond

Update: As of December 16, 2020, London placed Tier 3 restrictions. Nimax Theatres announced that they are suspending performances at all of their theatres...


It’s always fun to participate in the throwback pictures on social media. You have to know where you came from to make sure you...