Music pioneer Berry Gordy brings his life story to the stage in Motown, the new jukebox musical that takes audiences through the highs and lows of life in the recording industry, which officially opened April 14 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. The hit-filled musical stars Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon and Valisia LeKae.
Charles Randolph-Wright directs Motown, 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. Previews began March 11.
Gordy, who also authored the book to Motown, is producing the musical along with Tony winner Kevin McCollum ( Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q) and Sony Music CEO Doug Morris. Read the March 2013 Playbill magazine feature about the show. Tony Award nominee Dixon ( The Color Purple, The Scottsboro Boys) and LeKae ( Ragtime, The Book of Mormon) co-star as Gordy and Diana Ross, respectively. The cast also features Raymond Luke Jr. and Darius Kaleb sharing the roles of young Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Berry Gordy, with Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye and Charl Brown ( Jersey Boys, Sister Act) as Smokey Robinson.
Completing the cast are Morgan James ( Godspell), Saycon Sengbloh ( Fela, Hair), John Jellison ( Memphis) and N'Kenge ( Sondheim on Sondheim), as well as Timothy J. Alex, Michael Arnold, Nicholas Christopher, Rebecca E. Covington, Ariana DeBose, Andrea Dora, Preston W. Dugger III, Wilkie Ferguson, Dionne Figgins, Marva Hicks, Tiffany Janene Howard, Sasha Hutchings, Jawan M. Jackson, Lauren Lim Jackson, Crystal Joy, Jamie LaVerdiere, Grasan Kingsberry, Marielys Molina, Sydney Morton, Maurice Murphy, Jarran Muse, Jesse Nager, Milton Craig Nealy, Dominic Nolfi, Ryan Shaw, Jamal Story, Eric LaJuan Summers, Ephraim Sykes, Julius Thomas III, Daniel J. Watts and Donald Webber, Jr.
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."
Prior to opening, and without any major critical endorsements, Motown is the top-grossing Broadway production of the season. It has played to sold-out houses ever since its first performance, grossing over $1 million a week ever since beginning previews in March – a record for any Broadway show to arrive in New York without an out-of-town tryout.
Motown has scenic design by David Korins, costume design by ESosa, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Peter Hylenski, projection design by Daniel Brodie, and choreography by Patricia Wilcox ( Blues in the Night) and Warren Adams ("Toy Story"). Motown features arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp, with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Crook, dance arrangements by Zane Mark and music direction by Joseph Joubert.
For tickets visit Ticketmaster.com.