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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 7

Ex-'Idol' finalist Syesha Mercado to star in 'Dreamgirls' national tour

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/29/2009 

Dreamgirls has apparently landed another former American Idol finalist.

Syesha Mercado has been tapped to star as Denna Jones in an upcoming Dreamgirls revival that is slated to start November 7 at New York's Apollo Theatre before continuing in a national tour in cities across the country, Playbill reported Thursday.

The production will run at the Apollo through December 6 before hitting the road, with stops in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago, Boston, Columbus, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Costa Mesa, Cincinnati and Philadelphia.

"When we started planning this new production, I knew it was time to finally bring Dreamgirls to the Apollo," said producer John Breglio in a statement.

"Throughout its history, the Apollo has been known as a proving ground where new talent has been discovered and nurtured and careers have been launched. And that's what Dreamgirls is all about. The very first scene in Dreamgirls takes place right here at the Apollo's famous Amateur Night. What better place to launch a new production of this groundbreaking show?"

The Dreamgirls stage revival comes more than two years after a film version hit theaters and landed former Idol third-season finalist Jennifer Hudson a best supporting actress Oscar win for the role of Effie White.

White -- who was originally played onstage by Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday in the 1981 Broadway production -- will be played by Moya Angela in the upcoming revival, according to Playbill.

Rounding out the revival's cast are Adrienne Warren as Lorrell Robinson, Margaret Hoffman as Michelle Morris, Chaz Lamar Shepherd as Curtis Taylor, Jr., Chester Gregory as James "Thunder" Early, Trevon Davis as C.C. White and Milton Craig Nealy as Marty Madison.

Mercado finished third during Idol's seventh season last spring, and after her ouster she made it clear that acting onstage was something she'd be interested in.

"I want to make an album.  I want to star in a film.  I want to do Broadway.  I want to open up an organic restaurant, and like a lupus foundation, homeless foundation," she told reporters in May 2008. 

"It just depends on what comes first, but I have goals that I want to do, and I write them down and going to continue to look at them.  Basically, whatever opportunity comes first and what's the best career move for me, that's pretty much what's going to happen."

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