Motown: The Musical Will Launch 2014 National Tour in Chicago
By Adam Hetrick
Motown, the new jukebox musical that brings the life story of music mogul Berry Gordy to the Broadway stage, will launch a U.S. tour at Chicago's Oriental Theatre in spring 2014.
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. It officailly opened on Broadway April 14. Read the reviews here.
The national tour of Motown will run April 22-July 13, 2014, in Chicago, with additional cities to be announced. Group sales are available via BroadwayInChicago.com.
Despite missing out on a 2013 Best Musical Tony nomination, Motown one of the top-grossing Broadway productions of the season. The hit production received Tony nominations for Best Orchestrations (Ethan Popp, Bryan Crook), Best Sound Design (Peter Hylenski), Best Actress (Valisia LeKae) and Best Featured Actor (Charl Brown).
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.
An original Broadway cast album was released June 4.
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 Jibreel Mawry sharing the roles of young Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Berry Gordy, with Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye and 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.
Watch highlights from Motown here!
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