Jennifer Holliday is Effie in Atlanta Dreamgirls
By Kenneth Jones
Jennifer Holliday, a Tony Award winner of the original Dreamgirls, slips into the sequined dress of Effie once again for a 25th anniversary staging of the pop musical July 18-29 in Atlanta.
Performers from the worlds of pop, Broadway and regional theatre join Holliday in the Theater of the Stars production at the Fox Theatre.
Dreamgirls features Cindy Herron-Braggs (an original member of the hit recording group En Vogue) as Deena; Brandi Chavonne Massey (Broadway's Wicked, Caroline, Or Change and London's The Lion King) as Lorrell; Nicole Alesi (whose regional credits include Aida, Bye Bye Birdie and Little Shop of Horrors) as Michelle; David Jennings (Broadway's Once Upon a Mattress) as Curtis Taylor Jr.; Eugene Fleming (Broadway's Fosse, Kiss Me, Kate) as James Thunder Early; J. Bernard Calloway (Othello at the American Stage in St. Petersburg, FL) as Marty; Destan Owens (Broadway's Chicago, Rent, Smokey Joe's Café) as C.C. White; and James Harkness (the Atlanta world premiere of The Color Purple and on Broadway) as Wayne.
Jennifer Holliday reprises her Tony Award winning role as Effie, the troubled star of a legendary female singing group in the 1960s. The score, widely known from Broadway, tours and the 2006 Hollywood film, features "Dreamgirls," "I Am Changing" and Effie's show-stopper, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."
Two-time Grammy award winner Jennifer Holliday was discovered singing in a Houston choir and made her Broadway debut in the musical revival of Your Arms Too Short To Box With God. From there she was cast as Effie in Dreamgirls by Michael Bennett and she helped create the role. Other Broadway and stage credits include Chicago, Grease, Down-Hearted Blues: The Story of Bessie Smith, Sing, Mahalia, Sing: The Story of Mahalia Jackson and Harlem Suite.
She had a recurring role on the popular television series "Ally McBeal."
The Dreamgirls ensemble includes Heather Lea Bair, Melvin Bell, III, Kiara Bennett, Taela Naomi Brooks, Rogelio Douglas, Jr. Evan Edwards, Adam Fleming, Johnathan Lee Iverson, Michael D. Jablonski, Rashaan James, II, Terace Jones, Tracey Conyer Lee, C. Mingo Long, Shannon MacKeil, Greg Thompson, Tryphena Wade, Jasmin Walker and Adrienne Warren.
For more information, visit www.theaterofthestars.com.