Celebrating Berry Gordy: A Look Back at Motown The Musical Opening Night

News   Celebrating Berry Gordy: A Look Back at Motown The Musical Opening Night Music pioneer Berry Gordy, who celebrates his birthday November 28, will bring his life story Motown The Musical back to Broadway. The jukebox musical has booked the Nederlander Theatre for the July 12, 2016 encore, that will last 18 weeks. Playbill.com celebrates Mr. Gordy and his music legacy with a look back at the April 14, 2013 opening.

The show, which tells the story of Motown founder Berry Gordy, is still on national tour around the U.S., playing this week in Greenville, SC. A London production will begin performances on Feb. 11, 2016, at The Shaftsbury Theatre in the West End.

Charles Randolph-Wright directs the musical, which is brimming with songs made famous by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five. It has a book by Gordy himself. 

Motown arrived on Broadway March 11, 2013, and officially opened April 14. At the time of its closing, Motown had played 37 previews and 738 regular performances. The musical recouped its $18 million investment at the end of 2014.

It was a rare move for producers to shutter a production that consistently surpassed the million dollar mark at the box office; however, Motown is currently on a lucrative, streamlined national tour, which was revised after the Broadway production opened.

It is likely that the 2016 Broadway return will reflect a revised book and structure for the show, potentially with a more streamlined production and cost-effective overhead.

Gordy produced the musical along with Tony winner Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q) and Sony Music CEO Doug Morris. According to producers, "Motown tells the gripping story behind the hits as Smokey finds his unique voice, Diana skyrockets to stardom and Berry fights against the odds to turn his improbable dream into a triumphant reality. The music that shattered barriers and shaped our lives finally comes to the Broadway stage in the season's most highly anticipated world-premiere event."

Motown The Musical’s creative team features choreography by Patricia Wilcox (Blues in the Night) and Warren Adams ("Toy Story"), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical, Annie), costume design by Tony Award® nominee ESosa (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, “Project Runway”), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Natasha Katz (Once, Sister Act), sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages, The Scottsboro Boys) and projection design by Daniel Brodie (Aladdin).

For more information, visit MotownTheMusical.com.

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