The history of Motown comes to life in national touring musical at Altria Theater this week
Bringing soul back to Broadway and reviving many of everyone’s favorite 60s and 70s hits, “MOTOWN” the Musical opens at Altria Theater tomorrow.
Taking place in Detroit, the production tells the story of former featherweight boxer turned music mogul Berry Gordy and the birth of the Motown record label which produced some of the most famous musicians of all time.
Gordy, the founder of Motown records, produced the musical which came back to Broadway this summer, along with Kevin McCollum (RENT) and CEO of Sony Music, Doug Morris. MOTOWN was directed by Charles Randolph-Wright.
“MOTOWN” follows the lives and careers of Diana Ross and The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Miracles along with other artists who launched their careers through Motown.
Motown garnered huge success in the 1960s with its blend of soul, r&b, gospel and pop that became known as the “Motown Sound.” And with an African-American owner, the music broke down race barriers in popular music in the height of racial inequality in America which brought social and cultural change.
The musical will open with the 25th anniversary of Motown and the whole story is a retrospect of the growth of the record label.
Attendees can expect to hear over 60 of their favorite songs from that time such as “My Girl”, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Sign, Sealed, Delivered” and many more.
Chester Gregory stars as Berry Gordy and Allison Semmes stars as Diana Ross.
Semmes, a Chicago native, said attendees can expect “so much energy and entertainment” with the musical.
“It was an indie record label so we see how it grows and moves to LA and competes with all the other labels as well, but mostly you just get the rich story of how this music impacted and reflected what was happening in America,” Semmes said.
The musical will showcase when Motown launched its first headquarters in Detroit in 1959 with the nickname, “Hitsville, USA”, its success through the years, and the label’s move to LA in 1972.
The actress said she couldn’t be happier about playing the role of Diana Ross.
“It’s the role of a lifetime,” she said, “I love telling the story, singing the songs, the gowns even, it is such a rich story to tell.”
MOTOWN follows Diana Ross’ rise to fame through The Supremes to her solo career and features the doo wop group’s hits “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” and “Stop in the Name of Love.”
This musical is packed with entertainment and something for everyone so get ready to sing and dance along with your favorite songs that changed the music industry and transformed America.
MOTOWN the Musical will premiere at the Altria Theater tomorrow, Jan. 5 and will run through Sun. Jan. 10 for eight performances. Tickets are $38 to $88. Get yours here.
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