It’s been a long journey from dreamgirl to cheerleader.
“I was on tour with Dreamgirls—the one that started at the Apollo a couple of years ago—and Andy Blankenbuehler gave me a phone call,” Warren related to Playbill.com. “I had worked with him at Encores! during The Wiz a couple summers before, and he called and said, ‘I can’t find a girl to play this role. I know you’re on tour, but are you interested in coming on a day off and auditioning?’ And, I said, ‘Sure.’ So I came, I sang for the producers, and I got the job.”
Warren was raised in Virginia, but moved to New York when she was 18. “I got my Equity card doing the 25th anniversary of Dreamgirls, actually with Jennifer Holiday,” she said. “She actually cast me…at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta during my sophomore year of college. I think I was 19, and that’s when I got my card…I promised my parents that I would only do shows during the summer so I could graduate because I knew once I stopped then I wouldn’t go back! [Laughs] And I have a family full of educators, so that was not an option.”
The production is a difficult one, including singing, dancing, and intense cheerleading stunts. “Preview night I was very emotional,” Warren remembered. “There were certain points in the show where tears were just coming to my eyes because this has been a two-and-a-half-year journey for a lot of us. And, to think, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re finally here. I’m finally on this stage at this moment, feeling this energy from the audience and my cast members’—that was just crazy and amazing. But the opening night was very special. I had a lot of family and friends in the audience—some who have never seen the show before—and I had a lot of people in my life that had helped me get to this point.”
Bring It On is currently playing at the St. James Theatre in New York City.