Brandon Victor Dixon Talks Legacy of Motown, J5 And More (Video)

Source: Broadway World

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MOTOWN THE MUSICAL star Brandon Victor Dixon appeared this week on WLNY-TV’s ‘Live From The Couch’ to speak with host John Elliott about working with Berry Gordy on the smash hit musical from the very beginning, the historical significance of Motown’s legacy, and bringing that story to Broadway.

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, featuring music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and a book by Berry Gordy, began performances on Broadway on March 11, 2013 and officially opened April 14, 2013 at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street).

The first national tour of Motown the Musical launches at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre with an engagement from April 22 to July 13, 2014 before continuing across the country, with additional cities to be announced.

Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, Motown the Musical is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture 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 Gayeye and many more.

Check out the interview below!

 

Read more at Broadway World

Krystal Joy Brown to Take On the Role of Diana Ross in Motown The Musical

Source: Theater Mania

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Motown The Musical has announced that Krystal Joy Brown (Big Fish) will join the cast at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in the role of Diana Ross beginning January 23. Brown inherits the part from the production’s current Diana Ross, Felicia Boswell. Boswell, in turn, took on the role when Tony Award nominee Valisia LeKae exited the production last month after announcing her cancer diagnosis .

With a book written by Berry Gordy, Motown The Musical features songs from the legendary Motown songbook. The musical tracks Gordy’s journey through his career, his marriage to the great Diana Ross, and launching the careers of music icons like Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and many more.

The cast also includes Brandon Victor Dixon (Berry Gordy), Charl Brown (Smokey Robinson), Bryan Terrell Clark (Marvin Gaye), Timothy J. Alex, Nicholas Christopher, Rebecca E. Covington, Andrea Dora, Preston W. Dugger III, Wilkie Ferguson III, Dionne Figgins, Rod Harrelson, Marva Hicks, Afra Hines, Tiffany Janene Howard, Jawan M. Jackson, John Jellison, Crystal Joy, Aaron Kaburick, Mykal Kilgore, Grasan Kingsberry, Jamie Laverdiere, Raymond Luke Jr., Krisha Marcano, Prince George Maynard, Tracy McDowell, Marielys Molina, Jarran Muse, Jesse Nager, Milton Craig Nealy, N’Kenge, Dominic Nolfi, Allison Semmes, Saycon Sengbloh, Ryan Shaw, Eric LaJuan Summers, Ephraim M. Sykes, Julius Thomas III, Rickey Tripp, Nik Walker, Donald Webber Jr., and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson.

http://www.theatermania.com/new-york-city-theater/news/01-2014/krystal-joy-brown-to-take-on-the-role-of-diana-ros_67145.html

Motown The Musical Cast Headlines 8th Annual Broadway Toys For Tots Benefit Today

Source: Broadway World

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The Broadway Boys once again host Broadway’s favorite holiday party and concert with the 8th Annual BROADWAY SINGS FOR TOYS: A Benefit for Toys for Tots tonight, December 16 at 7:00pm.

Joining the festivities are Motown the Musical cast members Jesse Nager, also a member of The Broadway Boys; Tony Award nominee Charl Brown; Nicholas Christopher; Rebecca Covington; Marva Hicks; Tiffany Howard; Sasha Hutchings; Morgan James; Crystal Joy, who will sing a duet with her mother, Tony Award® winner Adriane Lenox (AFTER MIDNIGHT); Mykal Kilgore, Raymond Luke Jr.; two-time Grammy Award nominee Ryan Shaw; and Donald Weber Jr., along with former cast members Ariana DeBose and Daniel J. Watts. .

The annual concert is a cocktail party/concert/toy drive that gathers Broadways hottest talent for a dynamic and inspirational concert sure to brighten your spirits!

Broadway Sings for Toys: A Benefit for Toys for Tots will be held at The Cutting Room (located at 44 E 32nd St). Tickets are $20 (with an unwrapped toy) and can be purchased by calling 212-691-1900 or by visiting www.thecuttingroom.com.

As always, guests can expect an amazing concert and a raffle with great prizes. VIP ticket holders will receive a gift bag filled with Broadway and Holiday themed gifts.

Motown the Muscial is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture 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 many more

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/MOTOWN-THE-MUSICAL-Cast-to-Headline-8th-Annual-Broadway-Toys-For-Tots-Benefit-1216-20131215

“Motown: The Musical” Stars Sing Out!

Source: MyQ105- Bob Berry

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“Motown: The Musical”, the story of the rise of Berry Gordy Jr.’s “Hitsville USA”, has been a smash on Broadway since it opened last spring.

And the biggest buzz has been about the cast members, nailing the essence of some the Motown’s biggest hits and brightest stars.

In this video, recording a montage of  hits in the studio, two performances stood out.

Watch at around :56 second in for young (12 years old) Raymond Luke Jr. channel Michael Jackson on the J-5′s “I Want You Back”. Nice work by “the Jackson’s”, too.

And, at 3:30, Bryan Terrell Clark sings “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye, with a sound and feel  just like Marvin Gaye! And that ain’t easy!

Incredible.

The Original Cast Soundtrack CD is available wherever you buy music.  “Motown: The Musical” continues at the historic Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City, with rumors of a national touring company to come.

Let’s hope so!

http://myq105.cbslocal.com/2013/12/11/motown-the-musical-stars-sing-out/

Watch the Cast of Motown Perform On The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (TV Content)

Source: Broadway World

Saycon Sengbloh & the Cast of Motown rehearse in their coats: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.Source: Saycon Talks Photo: courtesy of Joe Perrotta

Saycon Sengbloh and Cast of Motown rehearse in their coats: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Source: Saycon Talks
Photo: courtesy of Joe Perrotta

Check out video below of the cast of MOTOWN strutting their stuff and singing some of the greatest songs from yesterday’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

http://www.broadwayworld.com/videoplay.php?colid=632760

Motown’s Berry Gordy Set For Sirius XM’s Urban View With Joe Madison

Source: Broadway World

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Motown The Musical creator and legendary Motown record label founder Berry Gordy will appear on an Sirius XM Radio’s “Urban View with Joe Madison” this Friday, November 29 to discuss bringing his musical to the Broadway stage and the cultural legacy of Motown.

The segment will from 9:20-9:40am (EST) on SiriusXM Channel 110 on Friday, November 29 and will be rebroadcast that evening at 11:20pm; on Saturday, November 30 at 5:20am and 2:20pm; Sunday, December 1 at 12:20am & 6:20pm; and Monday, December 2 at 1:20am.

Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown FounderBerry 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 many more.

Featuring all the classics you love, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Now, experience the next electrifying chapter in the Motown story, Broadway’s record-breaking smash hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL!

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL plays Tuesday at 7pm; Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm; Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm; Sunday at 3pm; Dark Monday.

  • Week of November 25: MOTOWN THE MUSICAL plays Monday & Tuesday at 7:30pm; Wednesday at 2pm; Friday and Saturday at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 3pm; Dark Thursday (Thanksgiving).
  • Beginning December 2: MOTOWN THE MUSICAL plays Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm; Sunday at 3pm; Dark Monday.

Tickets prices range from $72.00 – $147.00 and are available by calling Ticketmaster at 877-250-2929 or visitingwww.ticketmaster.com.

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/MOTOWNs-Berry-Gordy-Set-for-Sirius-XMs-URBAN-VIEW-WITH-JOE-MADISON-1129-20131127

Berry Gordy To Be Honored With Another Award, Lifetime Achiever Founded The Careers For Many Famous Artists

Source: New Pittsburgh Courier  – By Steve Holsey    

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It is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine the music industry — and perhaps even Detroit — had there been no Berry Gordy.

The Michigan Chronicle could not have made a decision any wiser than the one to present its 2013 Legacy In Motion Lifetime Achievement Award to the legendary Motown Record Corporation founder and former president.

The black-tie event takes place Dec. 7 in the Grand Ballroom of Cobo Center in Detroit.  Gordy will be there to accept the award.

Motown has the distinction of being the most successful Black owned record company in the history of show business. It is also the most written about record company of all time, White, Black or otherwise. There have literally been dozens of books written about Motown, several by the artists themselves.

But perhaps the most important one is Berry Gordy’s autobiography, “To Be Loved,” subtitled “The Music, the Magic, the Memories of Motown.”

The smash hit stage musical “Motown,” currently playing to packed houses on Broadway, is based on that book.

The impact of Motown was never more clear than when the NBC TV special “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” aired on March 25, 1983.

THE RATINGS were through the roof, record sales increased, careers were reinvigorated, and the Motown Museum on West Grand Blvd. — not Motown’s Los Angeles headquarters — was deluged with congratulatory/memory sharing phone calls.

“I was comfortably seated in the balcony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, waiting for the show to start,” Gordy recalled. “The show was one thrill after another…The topper to ‘Motown 25’ came a few months later in the fall of 1983 when the show was nominated for nine Emmy Awards.”

The special won the Emmy, the most prestigious award in television, in the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program category.

Many of the artists who had Motown to thank for their careers were there that night and the list was a lengthy one, including Smokey Robinson, the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Junior Walker, the Commodores, Mary Wells, Michael Jackson, the Jacksons, Martha Reeves, the Temptations and the Four Tops.

Those that were not present, such as Gladys Knight & the Pips and the Marvelettes, were seen in nostalgic film clips.

INTERESTINGLY, when he was a boy, Berry Gordy, Jr. sold the Michigan Chronicle. This followed a stint as a shoeshine stand operator.

There was always a strong entrepreneurial spirit in the Gordy family, cultivated mainly by the patriarch of the family, Berry Gordy, Sr., but also the matriarch, Bertha Gordy. They and their eight children — Esther, Fuller, Gwen, Anna, George, Loucye, Robert and Berry, Jr. — lived on the east side of Detroit.

“From the shoe industry, I turned to journalism, selling the Michigan Chronicle, Detroit’s top colored weekly newspaper,” remembered Gordy.

“One weekend I packed up some papers and went to sell them in the White neighborhood. I figured White people there would probably love to buy them if they got the chance.

“After all, you could always find them hanging out at the Black nightclubs, like the Flame Show Bar or those down in Paradise Valley. I felt that everyone in the world had a lot more in common than they realized.

“Well, I was a big hit and sold more papers in less time than ever before. I decided I could afford to share the wealth and brought my brother down with me the next weekend.

“We did not do well. We both got a hard, fast lesson in race relations. It seemed one precocious little Black kid was cute, but two were a threat to the neighborhood.”

BERRY GORDY started Motown with an $800 loan from a savings fund owned by the Gordy family. Along the way he was assisted and supported by a cavalcade of singers, writers, musicians, producers, executives, friends, family members and others.

Motown’s first million seller was “Shop Around” by the Miracles which debuted on the national charts in December of 1960, peaking at No. 1 on the R&B chart and No. 2 on the Pop chart.

Gordy has special feelings for the Motown Museum, the idea for which was conceived by his sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, a former Motown vice president. It is housed in what had been Motown headquarters (“Hitsville U.S.A.”) at 2648 W. Grand Blvd.

“THE MUSEUM could be the messenger of our history for generations to come,” wrote Gordy. “Not just a history of singing and dancing and building entertainers, but much more — a history of Black entrepreneurship that gave people an opportunity to reach their full potential.

“We had done that at Hitsville, where young people had learned to write, produce, perform, think, make choices. The choices they made and the dreams they followed all contributed to the magic that was Motown.”

Berry Gordy, who is also an accomplished songwriter with many hits to his credit, likened Motown to Broadway.

“I’ve discovered that Motown and Broadway have a lot in common — a family of wonderfully talented, passionate, hard-working young people, fiercely competitive but also full of love and appreciation for the work, for each other and for the people in the audience.”

http://www.newpittsburghcourieronline.com/index.php/entertainment/19777-berry-gordy-the-ultimate-lifetime-achiever

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL Holds Open Call Auditions Today In North Carolina And In Atlanta On November 10

Source: Broadway World

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Producers Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Berry Gordy have announced “Makin’ It Motown,” a nationwide open call casting search for African-American singers for both the Broadway production of Motown The Musical and the upcoming national tour, with a rare opportunity to audition for this hit Broadway musical at the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte (650 E. Stonewall Street) in Charlotte, NC, today, November 9, and at 14th Street Playhouse (173 14th Street NE, Stage Three) in Atlanta, GA, on Sunday, November 10, in partnership with Fifth Third Bank Broadway in AtlantaThe first national tour will launch in Chicago in April 2014 with Charlotte and Atlanta performance dates to be announced at a later date.

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is seeking African-American men and women, ages 20s-40s, with exceptional voices. Also seeking an African-American boy, age 8 to 13, to play young Michael Jackson / Berry Gordy / Stevie Wonder. No prior theatre experience is necessary.

All candidates must have amazing soulful voices to play different performers from Motown history. All vocal parts are encouraged to attend.

CHARLOTTE OPEN CALL
Date: Saturday, November 9, 2013
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm (sign-in begins at 10:00am)
Location: Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte
650 E. Stonewall Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

ATLANTA OPEN CALL
Date: Sunday, November 10, 2013
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm (sign-in begins at 10:00am)
Location: 14th Street Playhouse, Stage Three
173 14th Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

What to Bring

1. Bring sheet music for a song of choice from the Motown songbook that best features vocal range.

2. Bring a picture and resume including contact information (cell phone, email) stapled together. A recent snapshot is sufficient in the absence of a formal headshot. An accompanist will be provided.

For more information on the open call auditions visit: http://www.motownthemusical.com/casting.

For details about what to bring and what to prepare, email casting@motownthemusical.com.

Read more: http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/MOTOWN-THE-MUSICAL-to-Hold-Open-Call-Auditions-in-North-Carolina-Atlanta-20131108