Singer songwriters Ruth Brown and Karen Mav have joined the cast of Dreamgirls, supporting Glee star Amber Riley in the challenging leading role of Effie White for one performance a week.
The pair will alternate Wednesday performances only, with Riley set to lead the much anticipated musical for the other seven performances a week when the Broadway hit finally arrives on the West End stage this November.
Sonia Friedman, the producer of the Tony Award-winning hit’s London premiere production, said: “This is fantastic news for the production. Casting Amber Riley is of course thrilling as she is the most extraordinary talent to star in our show, but now to be able to announce that Ruth Brown and Karen Mav will be joining the show, to cover Amber and share performances on the night that Amber will not be on is just fantastic.”
Both forthcoming Dreamgirls will be familiar faces to the public, not for their stage experience but for their appearances on two of television’s highest profile talent contests. Brown found fame in the first series of the BBC’s The Voice, reaching the semi-finals, while Mav was a contestant on 2015’s The X Factor.
Dreamgirls, which tells the story of the tumultuous journey of a young female singing trio from Chicago as they learn the hard lesson that show business is as tough as it is fabulous, opened on Broadway in the 80s when it fast became a hit, earning six Tony Awards. In more recent years, its incredible story was seen on the big screen in the Oscar-winning film adaptation.
London audiences will have the first chance to hear the show’s classic songs including And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, I Am Changing, Listen and One Night Only performed live on stage at the Savoy Theatre from 19 November.