Motown Launches Casting Call for Actors to Play Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson | Playbill

News Motown Launches Casting Call for Actors to Play Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson
Producers of the upcoming Broadway musical Motown are launching a nationwide casting search for African-American actors to portray young versions of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder as well as such music legends as Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson.

Berry Gordy
Berry Gordy Photo by Kal Lee

In addition to a previously launched online casting campaign, the creative team has announced open auditions in Detroit, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City in advance of Motown's Broadway debut this spring at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. The musical is based on the life of record mogul Berry Gordy.

The casting breakdown is seeking one 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 and also portray 11-year-old Stevie Wonder and a pre-teen Gordy himself, described as a "bit of a hustler and bit of a dreamer."

In addition, adult actors are being sought to portray the physical and vocal likenesses of Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson. An additional African-American actor with a low bass range (solid low C) and female African-American singers who can cover the songs of Diana Ross are also being sought during these calls.

Auditions will take place in Detroit and New York City on Nov. 3; followed by Los Angeles on Nov. 10; Chicago on Nov. 18; and Atlanta on Dec. 1.

Click here for more information on the auditions. Online submissions are also being accepted. 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 jukebox musical will begin Broadway previews March 11, 2013, towards an April 14, 2013, opening.

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.

Tony 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.

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."

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