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Dreamgirls to sparkle at the Sunderland Empire

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Dreamgirls to sparkle at the Sunderland Empire


Sonia Friedman Productions is delighted to present the first ever UK tour of the dazzling, multiple-award winning musical Dreamgirls,which opened to great critical acclaim in December 2020 and visits cities right across the country throughout 2022 and into 2023.

A full tour schedule and booking links can be found at dreamgirlsthemusical.co.uk.

Featuring the classic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’, ‘Listen’ and ‘One Night Only, this sensational production ofDreamgirls had its critically acclaimed West End première in December 2016 at London’s Savoy Theatre, 35 years on from opening on Broadway.

Meet the Dreams – Effie, Lorrell and Deena – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.

Dreamgirls stars Nicole Raquel Dennis as Effie White with Sharlene Hector performing the iconic role at certain performances, Natalie Kassanga as Deena Jones, Paige Peddie as Lorrell Robinson, Dom Hartley-Harris as Curtis Taylor Jr., Brandon Lee Sears as Jimmy Early, Shem Omari James as C.C. White, Jo Servi as Marty andBrianna Ogunbawo as Michelle Morris.

The full company will include Shonah Buwu, Harvey Ebbage,Olivia Foster-Browne, Kellianna Jay, Ryan Kayode,Holly Liburd,Ross Meagrow, Samuel Nicholas, Nicole Nyarambi, Ilana Richardson and Josh Singleton.

A finalist on ITV’s The Voice in 2019, Nicole Raquel Dennis wowed viewers and judges at her blind audition, performing Dreamgirls mega-hit ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ alongside team mentor Jennifer Hudson. Her London stage credits include Alana Beck in the original West End cast of Dear Evan Hansen (BBTA winner – Best Supporting Actress in a Musical), the original West End cast of Waitress (Adelphi Theatre), The Book Of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre) and Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre).

Soul, Gospel and Blues artist Sharlene Hector has been the singer with Grammy® Award-winning electronic music duo Basement Jaxx as well as providing backing vocals for Sam Sparro, Natasha Bedingfield, Boy George and Mary J. Blige.

Natalie Kassanga’s West End theatre credits include playing Diana Ross in Motown: The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), Young Nala in Disney’s The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre), Dear Evan Hansen (Noel Coward Theatre) and Oliver! (Theatre Royal Drury Lane).

A graduate from the Royal Academy of Music, Paige Peddie was the ‘Unexpected Star’ on BBC1’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Show on Christmas Day, 2018.  Theatre credits include Disney’s The Lion King (UK Tour), Equus and Enron (Nottingham Playhouse).

Dom Hartley-Harris was in the original West End cast of Bat Out of Hell the Musical (Dominion Theatre) with further credits including Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre), Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre) and Tiger Bay (Wales Millennium Centre).

American actor, dancer and singer Brandon Lee Sears’ recent London theatre credits include Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre), Motown: The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre), Heathers (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and On The Town (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).

A recent graduate of Arts Educational School, London, Shem Omari James’s theatre credits include The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Leicester Curve) and Songs For A New World (Vaudeville Theatre).

Jo Servi’s theatre credits include The Life (Southwark Playhouse),Dirty Dancing (UK Tour), Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre),City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Ragtime (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Jersey Boys (Prince Edward Theatre), The Enchanted Pig (Royal Opera House, UK Tour and in New York), Stephen Fry’sCinderella (The Old Vic Theatre), Guys And Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre), Oh! What A Night (UK & European Tour), Ragtime(Piccadilly Theatre), Whistle Down The Wind (UK National Tour),My One & Only (Piccadilly Theatre) Disney’s The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre) and Once On This Island, The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, A Life of Galileo and A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Repertory Theatre).

Brianna Ogunbawo’s theatre credits include The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), Motown: The Musical(Shaftesbury Theatre), Disney’s The Lion King (UK tour) and Hairspray (UK tour).

This award-winning production of Dreamgirls is Directed and Choreographed by Olivier® and Tony® Award winning Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Mean Girls, Disney’s Aladdin and Something Rotten!), with Set and Costume Design by Tim Hatley, Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone, Sound Design by Richard Brooker, Hair Design by Josh Marquette, Music Supervision byNick Finlow and Casting by Natalie Gallacher CDG for Pippa Ailion Casting CDG. The Associate Director is Alison Pollard, the Associate Choreographer is Sean Parkins and the Resident Director isRicardo Coke-Thomas.

With Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen and Music by Henry Krieger, with Additional Material by Willie Reale, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls was Directed by Michael Bennett who Co-Choreographed the show with Michael Peters. The production opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony® Awards with the original cast recording winning two Grammy® Awards for Best Musical Album and Best Vocal Performance for Jennifer Holliday’s ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.’

The 2006 motion picture adaptation of Dreamgirls starred Jennifer Hudson (winning her an Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress), Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

The Original London Cast Recording of hit West End musical Dreamgirls is available via Sony Masterworks Broadway.

The UK and Ireland tour of Dreamgirls is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Greenleaf Productions, Fakston Productions, Rupert Gavin/Mallory Factor, Chuchu Nwagu Productions, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Tyler Mount, Iris Smith in association with 1001 Nights Productions, Steven Rivellino, Griffin Dohr.

DREAMGIRLS will open at Sunderland Empire from Wednesday23 February 2022 – Saturday 5 March 2022. Tickets priced from just £13* are available from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 7615* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/sunderland*

*A £3.65 transaction fee applies to telephone and online bookings. Calls cost up to 7p per minute plus your standard network charge.

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