Broadway's Motown the Musical Launches Casting Search for Young Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and More
By Adam Hetrick
Producers of Motown the Musical, the new Broadway-aimed production based on the life of record mogul Berry Gordy, are launching a nationwide talent search for one actor who will portray icons such as young Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, as well as Gordy himself.
"I'm not looking for imitators," Gordy said in a video interview about the casting search. He added that the actor must be "smart, and can be themselves in the role... and he has to be extremely talented, plus he has to give me the same chills that I got when I saw Michael Jackson in the first place."
The casting breakdown is seeking an actor between the ages of 8 and 11 with a "phenomenal high tenor" voice who can sing and move like Jackson at 10-years-old, during his Jackson 5 days; as well as portray 11-year-old Stevie Wonder; and a pre-teen Gordy himself, described as a "bit of a hustler and bit of a dreamer."
Candidates are asked to sing such songs as "I Want You Back," "I'll Be There" and "Who's Loving You," and upload a video of their audition to Youtube, where producers and casting directors will view the submissions.
View the casting page at MotownTheMusical.com/Casting.
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. The musical is aiming for a 2013 Broadway arrival.
Charles Randolph-Wright will direct Motown, which will be studded 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.
The musical promises "a gripping story about the protégés and stars of a uniquely talented musical family who, under Berry Gordy's guidance, began as 'the Sound of Young America' and went on to become some of the greatest superstars of all time."
"Broadway is the pinnacle of live theater and provides a challenging and exciting opportunity to tell my story and share the magic of Motown," Gordy said in a statement. "I've discovered that Motown and Broadway have a lot in common — a family of wonderfully talented, passionate, hard-working young people, fiercely competitive but also full of love and appreciation for the work, for each other and for the people in the audience. I can't wait to feel that same Motown spirit come alive on stage every night."
Additional members of the creative team will be announced shortly.
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