As a quick recap… Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. is developing a Broadway musical based on his life “to set the record straight on the inception of the iconic label.“
The musical will feature music hits by the likes of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson, among others, and will open on Broadway in 2013, produced by Kevin McCollum (producer of such shows as Rent, Avenue Q and In the Heights – all 3 Tony Award-winning musicals by the way, so we could say that Gordy’s work is in good hands here), Sony Music Entertainment chairman and CEO Doug Morris, and of course Gordy himself, with Charles Randolph-Wright (an African American by the way, who has his own extensive background as a writer, director, producer for film, TV and theater) directing.
Earlier today, producers of the show has got specific with its debut dates, the theater that’ll house it, as well as two of the actors who’ have been cast in it, playing leads.
First, Motown, the new musical will begin Broadway previews on March 11, 2013, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. It’ll officially open on April 14, 2013.
Secondly, the production will star Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple, The Scottsboro Boys) as Berry Gordy, and Valisia LeKae (Ragtime, The Book of Mormon) as Diana Ross.
Third, its official synopsis reads:
Welcome to Hitsville, USA! MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed America forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown Founder Berry Gordy’s incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more. Featuring all the classics you love, MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL tells the 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: THE MUSICAL… Get ready, ’cause here we come!
Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams will co-choreograph the show.
An 18-piece orchestra will “reproduce the classic ‘Sound of Young America’ for the Broadway stage,” according to producers.
By the way, a search continues for a young to play 3 different roles – namely, a young Michael Jackson, a young Stevie Wonder, and a young Berry Gordy.
The casting breakdown we posted last month, stated that the actor has to be between 8 and 11 yaers old, with a high tenor voice who can sing and move like a 10-year-old Michal Jackson, during his Jackson 5days; as well as play an 11-year-old Stevie Wonder; and Gordy during his pre-teen years.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on October 1.