The North American touring production of Dreamgirls will start off at the legendary Apollo Theater – an unusual berth for a large-scale musical – but will start in Harlem for about four weeks. Producer John Breglio expects the tour to last 60 weeks.
The road show is helmed by Robert Longbottom (Flower Drum Song) and rehearsal for staging will also play a 21-week engagement in Seoul, South Korea, opening in February. The stateside version will be largely the same production, although the Seoul incarnation will star Korean thespians.
Even though the road starts at the Apollo, it does not preclude a potential Broadway run, which remains up in the air and would not likely materialize before 2011. The engagement at the Harlem venue nods to the storyline of the musical, which follows the rise and fall of an African-American girl group.
The 2006 movie version received major applause and resulted in two Oscar wins including one for Jennifer Hudson.
Casting has recently begun. An open audition for actresses to play the piece’s three lead female roles is set for Saturday at the Apollo.