"Look Out Baby, Cause Here I Come!" Motown: The Musical Grosses Over $1 Million in First Week of Previews
By Adam Hetrick
Motown, the new musical about the life of record pioneer Berry Gordy, is finding its groove at the box office. The production grossed over $1 million during its first week of previews at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
Motown, which arrives on Broadway with a highly recognizable brand and no star names, is the first musical in Broadway history to break the $1 million dollar mark in its first week of previews without having first played an out-of-town engagement prior to its New York bow.
The production, produced by Gordy, Tony winner Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q) and Sony Music CEO Doug Morris, grossed $1,029,883 for its first sold-out week on Broadway, which began March 11.
In addition, Motown surpassed the $1 million mark with only seven performances last week. It will begin a standard eight-performance Broadway playing schedule in the coming weeks.
The top premium tickets for the production are $227, with regular seating ranging from $65-$150. According to box office grosses released by the Broadway League, the production played to 102.9 percent capacity for the March 11-17 week.
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. Gordy also authored the book to the musical.
Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple, The Scottsboro Boys) and Valisia LeKae (Ragtime, The Book of Mormon) co-star as Gordy and Diana Ross, respectively. 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 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.
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