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BWW Interview: Leroy Church Explains Inspiration Behind Star-Studded DREAMGIRLS on Clubhouse

The four performance will include a star-studded line-up of Marisha Wallace, Raena White, Alex Newell, Jelani Remy, Nick Rashad Burroughs and more!

BWW Interview: Leroy Church Explains Inspiration Behind Star-Studded DREAMGIRLS on Clubhouse

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, the hit musical Dreamgirls will be live streamed in four unique performances on the Clubhouse app on Saturday, February 27 (3pm and 7pm EST) and on Sunday, February 28 (1pm and 7pm EST).

The weekend will feature unique casts, including Broadway and West End stars reprising their roles among cast members from the Broadway productions of Ain't Too Proud, Disney's The Lion King, Aladdin and others all performing alongside internet sensations and breakout stars as well as winners and runner ups of some of America's most popular talent competition shows. Alex Newell of Glee and Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist closes out our star studded weekend playing his longtime dream role: Effie White.

The four casts will include performances by Marisha Wallace, Raena White, Alex Newell, Jelani Remy, Nick Rashad Burroughs, Christina Raé, Tickwanya Jones, Angel White, Liyah Orielle, Gerald Caesar and many more! Click here for additional information about the streams.

As we await showtime, BroadwayWorld is catching up with the event's creator, Leroy Church, who told us all about the inspiration behind the exciting new project.

What inspired you to put this together, specifically on this exciting new platform?

2020 was a year that produced an unprecedented amount of heartbreak. From the pandemic that stole many of our loved ones, our professional and social lives, and the high racial and political tensions; it was one for the books. In the midst of all of that social unrest, there was a cry from Black Lives Matter which became louder with the murder of George Floyd. The same cry activated the call to action for a marginalized and underrepresented people. There was an open letter to theaters, producers, directors, casting, etc. from BIPOC called "WE SEE YOU." It was a call for change and change now.

As depressing or exhausting as all of this was, it was the blessing that lead me to a Dreamgirls on a Clubhouse app. It was the idea that I don't have to beg for a seat at the table, I can build the table and have them take a seat. With that energy, I accepted the invite to be on the creative team for this historical production. I committed to my power, to my gift, and to my excellence.

How did you get so many wonderful people involved?

My 15+ years of professional experience from Cirque du Soleil to Broadway's King Kong helped me to build lots of great relationships. It was very easy to get people involved because these stars are actually my friends. The 'Broadway's Finest' cast was the first group I cast. I knew exactly what I was looking for and who could do it; sort of like a dream cast.

Trending #2 on Twitter for my 5 second audition cut off and "Thank you, Happy New Year" was only because I knew exactly what I was looking for and with 10k people auditioning, I had to respect all of our time. That same audition was what connected Sheryl Lee Ralph, Amber Riley, and Shirley Murdock. The original "And I'm Telling You" Queen herself called me. This process has been all about relationships.

Are you at all worried that it won't be consumed by as many people as it could, with Clubhouse being invite-only?

I'm not worried about Clubhouse being an invite-only app and it not being received by as many people as it could. People waited for years for Hamilton. It is my objective to enrich the Clubhouse community by adding art. Art changes people and save lives. You can also phone a friend and share the experience if you don't have one.

What are you most excited for people to experience this weekend?

I'm most excited for people to experience the joy this weekend. I'm excited to know that people who could normally afford to Broadway will have that magical experience. And judging from the tech rehearsal, I'm excited for them to feel the Holy Ghost.

Would you consider doing this with another show if all goes well?
I'm definitely doing another show after Dreamgirls. This has been the artistic satisfaction I've been craving. Now that I've had taste, I need let my "Thank you, Happy New Year" live on.

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