As a quick recap… Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. is producing 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 this spring (previews begin March 11), at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 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.
It was last July when Gordy announced a casting call for an actor to play a young Michael Jackson, a young Stevie Wonder, and a young Berry Gordy.
The casting breakdown stated that the actor had to be between 8 and 11 yaers old, with a high tenor voice, who can sing and move like a 10-year-old Michael Jackson, during his Jackson 5 days; as well as play an 11-year-old Stevie Wonder; and Gordy during his pre-teen years.
I initially thought that was asking a lot of an actor between 8 and 11. And maybe the producers eventually felt the same, since not one, but two actors have been cast to play those 3 roles.
Child actors Raymond Luke Jr. and Jibreel Mawry have both been cast in the roles of young Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Berry Gordy in the new Broadway musical Motown.
This will be the Broadway debuts for both young actors, and it’s reported that they will share the three roles.
It’ll officially open on April 14, 2013, and will star Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple, The Scottsboro Boys) as the older Berry Gordy, and Valisia LeKae (Ragtime, The Book of Mormon) as Diana Ross.
Morgan James, Saycon Sengbloh, John Jellison and N’Kenge round out the starring cast.
Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams are co-choreographing the show.
An 18-piece orchestra will “reproduce the classic ‘Sound of Young America’ for the Broadway stage,” according to producers.
Tickets are now on sale. For tickets and more information, visit: http://www.motownthemusical.com/.
Watch the trailer below; Something tells me this will be a hot-seller.