West End Transfer Of Motown Kicks Off Run By Extending
Berry Gordy continues to prove there is truly “No Town Like Motown”. Beginning as a powerhouse label decades ago in America, Motown has worked its way not only onto the charts, top 40 list but now also, the Broadway stage. His musical, Motown, is now headed across the pond to London where it’s proving itself easily as performances only begin to get underway. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that the West End transfer of Motown the Musical kicked off preview performances last night and announced an extension of ticket sales in London!
Berry Gordy’s Motown The Musical is the latest to join the ranks of West End productions extending their runs in London. The musical, which began previews last night February 11th, announced 200,000 additional tickets were going on sale immediately for performances through February 2017 extending the show almost an additional five months. The new musical, running at The Shaftesbury Theatre (Pictured Right), officially opens March 8th, 2016 and was originally scheduled to play there through October 2016. According to The Daily Mail, with £5 million in ticket sales already at the box office, the British have only continued to prove their love for the sound of Motown. While speaking to The Daily Mail, Berry Gordy mentioned the British helping turn Motown into the powerhouse it became saying “They loved our sound!” I think the statement still proves true today as Motown extends in the West End.
Motown the Musical comes to London directed by Charles Randolph-Wright with choreography by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams. The rest of the creative team includes David Korins as scenic designer, EOPSA as costume designer, Natasha Katz as lighting designer and Peter Hylenski as sound designer. Pippa Ailion cast the show. Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris, Berry Gordy and Adam Spiegel produce the show’s London mounting. The musical is a jukebox musical featuring various songs from the Motown catalogue based on Berry Gordy’s (Pictured Above Left) 1994 autobiography To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories Of Motown. From founding the record label to his personal relationships with Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and some of the most iconic performers in music history, the show quickly has you realizing there’s no town like Motown.
As previously reported by Luner on Theatre, Motown comes to London’s West End led by Cedric Neal (Pictured Right) as Berry Gordy and Lucy St. Louis at Diana Ross. Other leading cast members include Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson, Sifiso Mazibuko as Marvin Gaye, Keisha Amponsa Banson as Mary Wells, Cindy Belliot as Anna Gordy,Samuel Edwards as Jackie Wilson, Tanya Nicole Edwards as Florence Ballard, Portia Harry as Teena Marie, Aisha Jawando as Martha Reeves, Joshua Liburd as Eddie Kendricks, Simeon Montague as Jermaine Jackson, Cleopatra Rey as Gladys Knight,Brandon Lee Sears as Tito Jackson, Jordan Shaw as Stevie Wonder and Cherelle Williams as Mary Wilson. The role of Young Michael Jackson will be alternated byEshan Poal, Kwame Kandekore and Joshua Tikare.
The ensemble for the production includes Jay Bryce, Daniel Bailey, Edward Baruwa, Eddie Elliott, Christopher Fry, Alex Hammond, Edward Handoll, Simon Ray Harvey, Elias Hendricks, Brian James Leys, Jayde Nelson, Kieran McGinn, Simone Mistry Palmer, Carl Spencer and Marcel J Whyte.
Luner Lowdown: Broadway’s Motown the Musical joins the ranks of London West End productions extending! Not that the announcement comes as a surprise, Motown comes to London following a healthy New York premiere beginning in Spring 2013 which included four Tony Award nominations. The Broadway production, which was staged at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (Pictured Right) shuttered in January 2015, while still making over $1 million a week I might add, and planned a return. The West End version of Motown was to be “supposedly” reworked so it would be the version brought back to Broadway in coming years. However, with real estate in New York flying out the door, a return for Berry Gordy’s Motown mega-hit might be harder than previously planned. The national tour of the production will sit down this summer on Broadway at The Nederlander Theatre for a limited 18 weeks.
Luner on Theatre will keep you updated as Broadway’s Motown the Musical takes London’s West End by storm! The As mentioned, the show doesn’t officially open for close to another month and we will continue to bring you updates and news as the show unfolds. For more information, visit Motown’s UK Official Website, Facebook or Twitter. (Please note; Unless a photo is noted to be taken by Luner on Theatre, we do not own/claim ownership for any photos used in this post.) And of course, 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!