Universal Music to Record Motown: The Musical Cast Album; Original Compilation Albums Also Planned
By Adam Hetrick
Universal Music Enterprises will record the cast album of Motown: The Musical, the new Broadway production about the life of music mogul Berry Gordy that features hits from Motown Records.
In anticipation of Motown: The Musical's March 11 Broadway arrival at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, UME will release "Motown Originals: The Classic Songs That Inspired The Broadway Show!" featuring the original recordings that defined the Motown sound. The compilation, which showcases the work of the original Motown artists, will be released in a single-disc and two-disc package. The new musical uses these hits for its score.
The compilation albums will be released digitally March 5 and in stores March 12. Songs featured include "My Girl" (The Temptations), "Shop Around" (The Miracles), "I Want You Back" (The Jackson Five), "Dancing In the Street" (Martha & the Vandellas), "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (Diana Ross), "Where Did Our Love Go?" (The Supremes) and "What's Going On" (Marvin Gaye).
A recording date and release date for the original Broadway cast album of Motown has not announced.
Charles Randolph-Wright directs Motown, which is 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. It officially opens April 14.
Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple, The Scottsboro Boys) and Valisia LeKae (Ragtime, The Book of Mormon) will co-star as Gordy and Diana Ross, respectively. 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 cast also features Raymond Luke Jr. and Jibreel Mawry 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."
Motown will have 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 Telecharge.com.
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