PHOTO CALL: Motown: The Musical Celebrates New Cast Album with Free Apple Store Performance
By Matthew Blank
Cast members from Motown: The Musical appeared at a special live performance at The Apple Store in SoHo on June 27 to celebrate the show's new Original Broadway Cast Recording, released June 4.
The cast, who inhabit such musical icons as Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five, recorded the album the week of April 22.
The album also features two new songs co-written by Gordy and Michael Lovesmith: "Hey Joe (Black Like Me)" and "Can I Close The Door (On Love)."
Included in the album's CD booklet are one-of-a-kind cast photos and two essays, by Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright.
Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple, The Scottsboro Boys) and Tony Award nominee Valisia LeKae (Ragtime, The Book of Mormon) co-star as Gordy and Diana Ross, respectively. Gordy, who also authored the book to Motown, produces the musical along with Tony winner Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q) and Sony Music CEO Doug Morris.
Motown officially opened April 14 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. 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.
The track listing follows:
Battle Of The Stars:
The cast also features Raymond Luke Jr. as 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."
UME previously released "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, was released in a single-disc and two-disc package in March.
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