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Interview with Moya Angela – Effie White in Dreamgirls London

Moya Angela in Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre. Credit Dewynters
Moya Angela in Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre. Credit Dewynters

Meet The Dreams – Effie, Lorell and Deena – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s, a revolutionary time in American music history. Join the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.

Moya Angela is an international Broadway singer and actress and can currently be seen starring as Effie White in DreamGirls in the West End. Moya was a 2016 LA Ovation Award Winner for Lead Actress in a Musical for the role of Effie White, as well as a 2010 NAACP Theatre Award Winner for Lead Actress for the same role. 

We recently had a Q&A with Moya and this is what she had to say.

Q: You attended North Central High School and you were really keen on music – who inspired you at that time?
Moya: My instructor Pat Wiehe. She was my reason for finding my way musically.

Q: Can you tell us about a musical theatre highlight from a school production?
Moya: My senior year, I was one of the main soloists and sang “I’ll Carry On” by Martha Wash. After that, we won the next three competitions.

Q: You were the lead singer for the #1 show choir in the State of Indiana – the Counterpoints. Can you tell us about your time with the choir?
Moya: Counterpoints is the true foundation for who I am musically. It taught me discipline and how to read music. It taught me I have a big voice that needs controlling and that friendship is very important. That choir was the air I breathed at the time.

Q: How was your experience at university?
Moya: It was equally as amazing as my high school choir. Except, the emphasis was on classical opera music. I was starring in my first opera my sophomore year of college. The training I received there was unmatchable.

Q: You performed as ‘singer-swing’ in the Lion King on Broadway – can you tell us about your time there?
Moya: It was amazing. That show is absolutely incredible. I could always depend on my co-workers to make me laugh and to help me grow. That show was my family. It requires it in order to do a show that difficult.

Q: You then played the role of Effie White in a US tour of Dreamgirls. What attracted you most to the show – and excited you most about the role?
Moya: The vocals attracted me. There was no show that showed that much ferocity. I wanted so badly to be a part of it.

Q: What are your likes and dislikes of touring?
Moya: Moving around so much and packing – I hate it. But being around other cultures is so awesome. Learning about and exploring new cities and eating different food is the best, so totally worth the moving.

Q: You have performed on Broadway and in the West End. How do they compare?
Moya: They both keep the quality of shows and performers at top-notch levels.

Q: Can you tell us about Effie White in Dreamgirls on the West End?
Moya: She is such a force. She is mentally strong but weak in her heart. She gets broken down and lifted back up all in 2 hours and 30 minutes. But anyone can relate to her journey.

Q: Are there any nuances between Effie White in London and the US role?
Moya: No, it’s the same role. The nuances come from the different actresses who play the role of Effie.

Q: What are your routines for a show day?
Moya: I wake up and talk a bit to see where I am vocally. Then I warm up little by little throughout the day. Lots of steaming. Then by showtime, I’m warm and ready.

Q: What is at the heart of the storyline of Dreamgirls?
Moya: The world may slow you down on the path towards your dreams but as long as you believe, eventually, you will get back on track and it will come true.

Q: If you could play a different role in Dreamgirls who would it be and why?
Moya: I’d say Jimmy Early. He is amazing and his songs are great. He is one who loses his way and never finds the right path. But I love his character arch.

Q: Why should everyone go along to see the show?
Moya: You will never hear voices like this anywhere in the West End. It’s a must-see.

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Follow Moya on Instagram at moya_angela and on Twitter @MoyaAngela

Moya Angela is an international Broadway singer and actress and can currently be seen starring as Effie White in DreamGirls on the West End. Moya was a 2016 LA Ovation Award Winner for Lead Actress in a Musical for the role of Effie White, as well as a 2010 NAACP Theatre Award Winner for Lead Actress for the same role. ). In 2016, Moya was also a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent with videos bringing in millions of views. Broadway credits include: The Lion King as Rafiki Cover (Shenzi Germany 2013), Clara in Original Broadway Cast of Ghost the Musical and Althea and Ms. Williams in the Original Broadway Cast of In Transit the Musical. Other notable credits include: Portia in 30 Rock, Effie White in DreamGirls (National Broadway Tour/Apollo Theatre and International Guest Entertainer on cruise-liners worldwide of her own one-woman show Giving Life. Moya is also a proud ambassador of Broadway in the H.O.O.D (helping others open doors).

Meet Your Effies | Dreamgirls West End

DREAMGIRLS
Let your soul sing with the dazzling multi-award winning DREAMGIRLS at the Savoy Theatre, London. With an extraordinary story and the unforgettable, spine-tingling vocals that are sending audiences wild at every single show, this spectacular musical production soars with the classic songs, ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going‘, ‘I Am Changing‘, ‘Listen‘ and ‘One Night Only‘.

Dreamgirls
Savoy Theatre
Strand, London, WC2R 0ET
https://dreamgirlswestend.com/

Author

  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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