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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > November 2016 > Amber Riley

Amber Riley

As loveable Mercedes Jones on hit US show Glee, we watched her tear it up weekly with her renditions of our favourite pop tracks. But now, singing sensation Amber Riley has a new challenge ahead – rocking the West End as THE iconic Dreamgirl Effie White. The production, which opens this November, marks the first time Dreamgirls has ever been seen in London. Nail it? Nuhuh. Amber Riley is telling you, she’s here to slaaaaaaay!
IMAGE BLAIR CALDWELL

“I love when people underestimate me because I love it when you get to prove your own greatness,” exclaims Amber confidently when we meet her at a central London hotel. “I love hearing the expectations that others have of me as I’m gonna surprise them all. They know the role of Effie, and even if they’ve not seen the movie or show, they know my songs. Yes, it makes me nervous, but I’m taking the responsibility VERY seriously!”

It’s a hard kick to the haters from the former Glee and soon-to-be Dreamgirls star. Throughout our time with her, Amber Riley’s determination to succeed bursts from her every move and answer.

“I actually knew a lot about Dreamgirls before I joined. I mean, who hasn’t heard of it?” she sarcastically questions. “I’ve done the obvious searching on YouTube but I sadly haven’t ever seen it live on stage. I’ve watched the Tony Awards performance probably over a million times and I’ve actually heard the original Effie, Jennifer Holliday, sing live – which was absolutely incredible! I could just never have imagined I’d been here, in rehearsals, all these years later.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne talks to GT about the all-inclusive imagination of J.K.Rowling. As if that wasn't already enough, come behind the scenes with GT and meet the entire cast of Fantastic Beasts! After all, Harry Potter taught us that no one should live in a closet. Also, in your brand new GT - is it too late now to say sorry? Olly Murs wants to apologise to LGBT+ people for his "23% gay” gaffe. From life as the ice queen Elsa to Beaches, the first lady of musical theatre Idina Menzel takes a bow and in a special report, we explore LGBT+ life in the Middle East and the region's first-ever gay mag My.Kali Magazine.
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