Broadway's Motown the Musical to close on 18 Jan 2015

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The current Broadway production of Motown the Musical has announced it will play its final performance at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on 18 Jan 2015. However, producers have vowed to bring the show back in a new version to a yet to be confirmed Nederlander Theatre in July 2016.

One of the musical's producers, Kevin McCollum, released the following statement: "We are only saying farewell to Broadway for now. We are leaving on a strong note, because we have a plan in place to come back even stronger. We've seen that Motown The Musical demonstrably appeals to a wide range of audiences. The passionate response to our show and the Motown catalogue puts us in a great position to arrange a successful return, while at the same time Motown The Musical branches out nationally and internationally."

Indeed, a West End transfer is in the works, and producers hope to open the show at the Nederlander Organization's Dominion Theatre in London by Summer 2015: "By closing in January 2015, we have an opportunity to use the production assets from Broadway for the UK production next year," commented McCollum.

Another Motown producer Doug Morris added: "The music of Motown has always been welcomed in Britain and Europe. With a long history going back exactly 50 years to the first Motown Revue tour of the UK, it's time to take Motown The Musical to markets around the globe."

Motown The Musical officially opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on 14 Apr 2013, following previews from 11 Mar 2013.

The show opened on Broadway to mixed reviews: The story doesn't hold water, but the music reminds you that Motown is taking up some serious real estate in your memory bank (; Dramatically slapdash but musically vibrant (NY Times); Fares best with the music (NY Post); The only thing hot in 'Motown' is the music (Record); Pleasurable nostalgia (Newsroom Jersey).

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 Gaye and many more. Featuring all the classics you love, it tells the story behind the hits as 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.

The show was nominated for four Tony Awards: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Valisia LeKae), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Charl Brown), Best Orchestrations and Best Sound Design.

The musical's principal cast currently stars Krystal Joy Brown (Diana Ross), Charl Brown (Smokey Robinson) and Bryan Terrell Clark (Marvin Gaye). They are joined by an ensemble cast of thirty.

Motown: The Musical features a book by Berry Gordy, music and lyrics from the Motown catalogue, choreography by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, scenic design by David Korins, costumes by ESosa, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound design by Peter Hylenski and projection design by Daniel Brodie.

- by Tom Millward

Sydney Morton (Florence Ballard), Valisia LeKae (Diana Ross) and Ariana DeBose (Mary Wilson)

Originally published on

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