Theater News

Broadway’s Motown: The Musical Finds Its Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder

Young actors Raymond Luke Jr. and Jibreel Mawry will take on the roles of the legendary singers.

Raymond Luke Jr. and Jibreel Mawry
Raymond Luke Jr. and Jibreel Mawry
(Photos courtesy of the production)

After a nationwide talent search, actors Raymond Luke Jr. and Jibreel Mawry have been tapped to share the roles of Young Berry Gordy, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder in the upcoming world premiere Broadway production of Motown: The Musical. The production begins previews March 11 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it will open on April 14.

Like and Mawry will make their Broadway debuts with the musical, which features a book by Motown founder (and legendary record producer) Berry Gordy, direction by Charles Randolph-Wright (Guys and Dolls), and a score culled from the hits of the illustrious Motown music catalogue. Luke’s stage credits include the Tammi Mac Minute Mixer and the films Bad Father and Failure is Not an Option. Detroit native Mawry is an advocate and peer mentor for the “Artist in Action: Stand Up Against Bullying” Initative, as well as a co-host of “Ye TV.”

Additionally, previously announced Motown ensemble member Bryan Terrell Clark will take on the role of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” singer Marvin Gaye. Clark has appeared opposite Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett in the Pasadena Playhouse production of Fences, as well as the on the television shows The Unit and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. He has performed with artists including Ne-Yo, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and more.

Motown: The Musical stars Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple) and Valisia LeKae (The Book of Mormon) will star as Berry Gordy and Diana Ross. The 40-member ensemble also includes Timothy J. Alex, Nicholas Christopher, Rebecca E. Covington, Ariana DeBose, Andrea Dora, Preston W. Dugger III, Wilkie Ferguson, Dionne Figgins, Marva Hicks, Sasha Hutchings, Lauren Lim Jackson, Morgan James, John Jellison, Crystal Joy, Grasan Kingsberry, Marielys Molina, Sydney Morton, Jarran Muse, Jesse Nager, Milton Craig Nealy, N’Kenge, Dominic Nolfi, Saycon Sengbloh, Ryan Shaw, Jamal Story, Eric LaJuan Summers, Ephraim Sykes, Julius Thomas III, Daniel J. Watts, and Donald Webber, Jr.

On the creative end, the show features choreography by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical), costume design by Tony Award nominee ESosa (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), lighting design by Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Once), sound design by Tony Award nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages), projection design by Daniel Brodie (Jekyll and Hyde), arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp (Rock of Ages), with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Crook (Smash), dance arrangements by Zane Mark (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and music direction by Joseph Joubert (Nice Work If You Can Get It).

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Motown The Musical

Closed: January 18, 2015