Amber Riley sometimes gets so overwhelmed during her new show Dreamgirls she ends up crying on stage.
The Glee star has taken on the role of Effie White in the debut London run of the musical, a part made famous by an Oscar-winning singer/actress Jennifer Hudson in the 2006 film adaptation.
The show officially opened on Wednesday (14Dec16) at London’s Savoy Theatre, but has been playing to packed out preview audiences for weeks. Amber, who was in tears as she took her bow on Wednesday, has won rave reviews, and she admits she can often really get into the role.
"Some nights it's like that," she told BBC News. "I get so overwhelmed and caught up in the story."
Dreamgirls opened on Broadway in 1981, but the newest production is the first time the Henry Krieger and Tom Eyen musical has graced the London stage.
One of the reasons it has allegedly taken so long for the show to reach British audiences is because there weren't reportedly enough black actors working in theater to fill the roles claims producer Sonia Friedman. However, the success of The Lion King has apparently changed that.
"Thankfully, shows like The Lion King have meant many more people of color are now working in theater," she smiled.
"When Dreamgirls opened 35 years ago, it would have been very hard to cast it here at that time. We now have a fantastic talent pool and will be able to keep it running for years and years because of the talent that is out there."