Indianapolis Dreamgirl Moya Angela!

You probably already know that Broadway Across America’s professional touring production of “Dreamgirls” opens this week (tomorrow, actually) at the Murat Theatre at the Old National Center. 

Matthew J. Porter, BAA’s director of public relations for the Midwest, asked if I would like to interview one of the stars of the show, Moya Angela.  He thought I would be particularly interested because she is originally from Indianapolis.

Of COURSE I was interested!

Unfortunately, my availability is pretty limited because I work a fulltime job on top of writing Indy Theatre Habit, so the interview is not going to happen.  However, Matt did pass on a couple of my questions and the star sent back her answers, so that was pretty thrilling in and of itself.  I will share those in a moment.

You can read a lot about what other people have written about the show via the official www.dreamgirlsonstage.com website.  I loved the following three articles in particular because they quote Moya Angela:

David John Chavez – Examiner.com – San Jose

http://www.examiner.com/theater-arts-in-san-jose/holliday-hudson-and-now-angela-dreamgirls-effie-white-ready-for-the-bay-area-to-love-her

Kristie Rearick – NJ.com

http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/towns/index.ssf/2010/06/dreamgirl_still_uncertain_how.html

Christopher Wallenberg – Boston.com

http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2010/01/31/musicals_rags_to_riches_story_hits_home_for_dreamgirls_stars/

Also on the show’s website are brief biographies of the cast.  Moya’s says she won two Encore awards.  (Encores, as you probably know if you are a regular reader of this blog, are the annual rewards given for excellence in community theatre shows produced by the eleven member theatres in the Encore Association here in Indianapolis.)

I wondered, just out of curiosity, what roles they were for.  I think that information has since been added to the bio or else I just didn’t notice it when I read it before.  In any case, I started a thread asking about Moya’s Encores on IndianaAuditions.com because that is where a lot of Indianapolis area community theatre people hang out online.  

Several people remembered with admiration Moya’s Encore-winning work.  Both were under the direction of Kathleen Horrigan and both were in shows at Footlite Musicals in the Hedback Theatre. 

In the meantime, Moya wrote back to me to confirm:  “I won an encore in 2001 for the role of Addapearle in the WIZ. And I won an Encore in 2002 for Sara in Ragtime.”

I am very sorry that that was before I became a theatre addict and so I did not see either show.  But I am now looking forward even more to seeing her in “Dreamgirls” this week!

The other thing I was curious about was what the star misses about Indianapolis when she is on the road.  She confirmed in her email what I had suspected:

“I totally miss my family and friends from home. There is nothing like deep relationships that you have had for a long time to help you thru when you’re traveling so much!!”

According to Moya’s Facebook page (and yes, I guess I am a stalker because although I have decided out of fairness not to “like” anyone, I look at everyone that will let me!) her “standby” is performing the role of Effie in the Wednesday evening and Saturday matinee performances, so if you want to see Moya in the role, try to get tickets for another performance. 

Speaking of tickets, you also may be interested in the following information that I received separately from the Broadway Across America team:

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All You Got To Do Is Dream” 

DREAM BIG & LIVESTRONG

DREAMGIRLS TEAMS UP WITH THE LANCE ARMSTRONG FOUNDATION IN MEMORY OF STEVE FINKEL

TICKETS PURCHASED TO SPECIFIC PERFORMANCES WILL SUPPORT FOUNDATION

SPECIAL VIP PACKAGE AVAILABLE

Indianapolis, IN (September 27, 2010) Broadway Across America and Live Nation announce today that proceeds from tickets sold to the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday evening performances of DREAMGIRLS playing the Murat Theatre at the Old National Centre November 2-7, will be donated to The Lance Armstrong Foundation in honor of former Live Nation employee, Steve Finkel.  In addition, there is also a VIP package available for the Thursday evening performance which includes premium seating, pre and post-show receptions, a meet & greet with the cast and much more (details below).

Ticket buyers MUST request the “LIVESTRONG” ticket when purchasing and $10 from each regular price ticket sold will be donated to The Lance Armstrong Foundation in Steve Finkel’s name.* Tickets must be for the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday evening performances only and may be purchased from an authorized ticket agent in person at the Broadway Across America Box Office downtown at 342 Massachusetts Avenue, the Old National Centre Box Office, online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-982-2787.

A special VIP package is also available for the Thursday, November 4 performance for $125 and includes premium seating, valet parking, access to the Crowne Room during intermission, a pre-show reception in Corinthian Hall which includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, and a post-show reception which includes coffee, dessert and a meet & greet with cast members of DREAMGIRLS.  A cash bar will also be available during the pre-show reception and VIP guests will have exclusive access to a special Rock & Roll silent auction including items from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Pearl Jam and much more.  VIP tickets can be reserved by calling 317-776-8121 and an online order form is available at http://rocksolidsyndicate.com/ticket_order_form.xls.

In January of 2010, the entertainment industry lost one of its true champions, Steve Finkel, to bladder cancer.   Steve was an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in the live entertainment business and he had the rare ability to touch and change the lives of those around him.  While an incredibly successful and well-respected player in the business, his greatest achievement may easily be the many lives that he influenced so positively.  Steve bravely fought bladder cancer for nearly three years and showed so many of the people around him that nothing would break his will or his spirit.

Steve’s passion as he neared the end of his battle became helping others to fight the disease and help support cancer research.  As Steve’s legacy lives on, Indianapolis has an opportunity to help pick up where he left off and continue the search for a cure.  All funds raised are to be donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Steve’s name.

Full of onstage joy and backstage drama, DREAMGIRLS tells the story of an up-and-coming, 1960s singing girl group, and the triumphs and tribulations that come with fame and fortune. Hopeful talents Deena Jones, Lorrell Robinson and Effie White are performing as The Dreamettes when ambitious agent Curtis Taylor, Jr. discovers them. He lands them a job as backup singers for the soul and rock’n’roll sensation James “Thunder” Early and begins to guide their quickly rising career. However, when the beautiful Deena emerges as the star of the group rather than the full-voiced Effie, the girls are brought to personal and professional crossroads.  DREAMGIRLS will introduce Indianapolis native Moya Angela as Effie White.

DREAMGIRLS will play the Murat Theatre at the Old National Centre, November 2-7, 2010: Tuesday-Friday at 7:30PM, Saturday at 2:00PM and 8:00PM, and Sunday at 1:00PM and 6:30PM. Tickets range in price from $22.00-$69.00 depending on the seat location and performance date. Tickets may be purchased from an authorized ticket agent online at TicketMaster.com in person at the Broadway Across America Box Office at 342 Massachusetts Avenue, the Old National Centre Box Office, Clowes Memorial Hall, or by phone at 1-800-982-2787. Orders for groups of fifteen (15) or more may be purchased by calling Chris Schneider at 317-632-5182 ext 103.

*Certain restrictions apply.

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The Lance Armstrong Foundation

With over 28 million people around the world living with cancer, nearly everyone knows someone that has been affected by the disease. Whether someone has cancer or is a caregiver, family member or friend of someone diagnosed, LIVESTRONG, The Lance Armstrong Foundation helps people face the challenges and changes of cancer, head on. By helping people understand what to expect, teaching people what questions to ask and giving people one-on-one support along the way, for many, LAF is a lifeline – inspiring and empowering those affected by cancer.

Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the Lance Armstrong Foundation believes that Unity is Strength, Knowledge is Power and Attitude is Everything. In addition to the immense support they provide cancer patients and their families, LAF also unites people to fight cancer and pursue an agenda focused on prevention, access to screening and care, improvement of quality of life for cancer survivors and investment in research. Some of the specific programs benefitting from current donations are planet cancer for young adults, survivorship center and support services, young adult alliance, YMCA wellness, anti-stigma global campaign and fertile alliance, to name a few.

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Break a leg, Moya Angela, while you are back home here in Indy, and I hope you get to spend lots of quality time with your family and friends while you are here.

Everyone….I’ll see you at the theatres!

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

(Above photo of Moya Angela in “Dreamgirls” was taken by Joan Marcus.)

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