The word on the theatrical grapevine is that prolific producer Sonia Friedman has battled off tough competition to secure the rights to the iconic Broadway musical Dreamgirls, and has her sights on a big West End opening.
Dreamgirls first opened on Broadway back in 1981 at the Imperial Theatre to a rapturous reception. The production was nominated for 13 Tony Awards including for Best Musical, and won six. The show was revived again on Broadway in 1987, but it has never ventured over to the West End.
2006 saw Dreamgirls adapted into a major Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures film with an all-star cast of Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Danny Glover, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy. Hudson’s performance as Effie White earned her the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film launched Beyonce’s career into the stratosphere and her recording of the song ‘Listen’ went on to sell millions of copies worldwide.
Written by Ton Eyen and with music by Henry Krieger, Dreamgirls spans decades as it charts the rise of a black female singing group called ‘The Dreams’, from their humble beginnings as backing singers in the 1960s to topping the charts in the 1970s. The show includes the iconic songs ‘And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going’, ‘One Night Only’ and ‘Listen’
Allegedly attached to the possible West End production is director Casey Nicholaw whose work on The Book of Mormon and Aladdin has earned him numerous awards and international acclaim. No venue has yet been confirmed or talks with any star performers, but if the rumors are correct, we could be looking at the production opening near the tail end of 2016 or even the star of 2017.