Soul Train Musical Is Heading To Broadway
Next Station; Broadway! An American classic is set to return to the entertainment world in coming years except this time, it’ll be found on the stage and not the screen. Soul Train, a hit musical television series that showcased R&B, hip hop and soul performers, has its eyes on a stage production coming to Broadway. While jukebox musicals or musicals featuring songs of a specific era are not new to Broadway, this specific hip hop/R&B musical may find life easier on Broadway than expected following the recent trend of shows such as In The Heights, Holler If You Hear Me and the current Broadway sensation, Hamilton. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that the hit television variety series, Soul Train, is headed to the Broadway stage!
Tony Award-nominated producer Matthew Weaver (Rock Of Ages)(Pictured Right) has acquired the theatrical stage rights to bring the hit television variety series, Soul Train, to life on the Broadway stage. Weaver has just announced that Anthony E. Zuiker, creator of the CSI television series, has signed on to write the libretto for the stage musical adaptation which producers are hoping to bring to Broadway at some point in 2017. According to production notes, Zuiker was raised by a single mother who worked in Las Vegas as a waitress in the 1970’s and 80’s. While visiting his mother at work, Zuiker had an opportunity to see some of the original Soul Train performers live. It was also noted that the music of Soul Train “got Zuiker and his mother through some very difficult times”.
Soul Train was an American musical television variety program which ran from 1971 until 2006. During it’s 35 year run, the show mainly featured performances by R&B, soul and hip hop artists. However, the show also featured funk, jazz, disco and gospel artists. Don Cornelius created the show serving as its first host and executive producer until 1993. Despite ending in 2006, Soul Train ran for over 1,100 episodes making it the “Longest-running first-run, nationally syndicated program in American television history”. It continues to hold that title and will until 2016 when Entertainment Tonight completes its 35th season.
In a statement to the press, Zuiker expressed his joy to be attached to the upcoming project that has a deep connection to him personally as well saying,
“I speak from the heart when I say that ‘Soul Train’ touched me deeply. It has impacted this country on so many levels, bringing joy and hope to so many people out there, including me. I am truly honored that Matthew Weaver and the rights holders have trusted me to share this important story and look forward to bringing Soul Train the musical to Broadway.” (Playbill)
Richard Gay, executive vice president at BET Networks who manages the Soul Train brand, expressed his excitment that Zuiker had committed to the project saying,
“From our very first conversations, I knew that Anthony’s experience and vision made him the perfect writer to marry the incredible music that made ‘Soul Train’ a pop culture movement with storytelling that speaks to audiences young and old.” (Playbill)
Anthony E. Zuiker (Pictured Right) is best known as the creator and executive producer of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He has produced all four editions of the show, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY and CSI: Cyber. Zuiker was the recipient of the 2013 Pioneer Award from the International Digital Emmy Award for Cybergeddon, which he created for Yahoo!. Most recently, he launched an animated series for kids titled “Mysteryopolis” for Nabi tablets.
Luner on Theatre will keep you updated as Soul Train hits the tracks to Broadway! As of this time, little besides Zuiker joining is known about the production. However, that is entirely to be understood as the show continues to evolve and develop itself as it heads to the Great White Way Station. We will keep you updated as creative team, casting, a theatre is eventually revealed. Until then, pop in a Best of Soul Train episode until this American classic returns to society in a new form for a new generation! Be sure to check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!