Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Photos: Charl Brown, Lucy St. Louis, Cedric Neal and More in West End production of MOTOWN, Opens Mar. 8

The West End production of Motown the Musical, now in previews at the Shaftesbury Theatre, will open on March 8, 2016. With music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy, Motown the Musical is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. The show recently released a further 200,000 tickets for sale taking bookings to February 18, 2017.

The Company of MOTOWN. Photo by Alastair Muir

The Company of MOTOWN. Photo by Alastair Muir

With just $800 borrowed from his family, Motown founder Berry Gordy, goes from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul, discovering and launching the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder,Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more. Motown the Musical uncovers the true story of the legendary record label that changed music history and created the soundtrack of a generation.

Cedric Neal, Charl Brown & Company. Photo by Alastair Muir

Cedric Neal, Charl Brown & Company. Photo by Alastair Muir

Featuring a sixteen piece orchestra playing 50 Motown tracks including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I’ll Be There, Dancing In The Street, Stop! In The Name Of Love, My Girl and I Heard It through the Grapevine, Charles Randolph-Wright’s production tells the story behind the classic hits.

The cast of Motown the Musical is led by Cedric Neal as Berry Gordy, Lucy St. Louis as Diana Ross, Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson and Sifiso Mazibuko as Marvin Gaye. They are joined by 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 Jawandoas 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, Cherelle Williams as Mary Wilson. Eshan Gopal, 12 years old from Kingsbury, London, 13 year old Kwame Kandekore from Leicester and 11 year old Joshua Tikare from Bromley alternate the role of Young Michael Jackson. They are joined by swings and ensemble members 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.

Jordan Shaw. Photo by Alastair Muir

Jordan Shaw. Photo by Alastair Muir

Tony nominated Motown the Musical received its world premiere in April 2013 in New York and recouped its $18 million investment by the end of 2014. The first US National Tour opened to critical acclaim in Spring 2014 in Chicago, grossing $20 million dollars during its standing room only sixteen-week run, and continues to play to packed houses across America. Motown the Musical will return to Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre for an 18 week run in July this year.

Samuel Edwards. Photo by Alastair Muir

Samuel Edwards. Photo by Alastair Muir

Motown the Musical has music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Ethan Popp, co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Cook, dance arrangements by Zane Mark and music direction by Gareth Weedon. Choreography is by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, scenic design by David Korins, costumes by Esosa, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Peter Hylenski and projections by Daniel Brodie. UK associate director is Tara Wilkinson, UK associate set designer is Andrew Edwards and UK associate lighting designer is Alistair Grant. Motown the Musical is produced in the West End by Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris,Berry Gordy and Adam Spiegel.

Lucy St. Louis. Photo by Alastair Muir

Lucy St. Louis. Photo by Alastair Muir

Keisha Amponsa Banson, Aisha Jawando, Cleopatra Rey. Photo by Alastair Muir

Keisha Amponsa Banson, Aisha Jawando, Cleopatra Rey. Photo by Alastair Muir

Eddie Elliott, Simon Ray Harvey, Simeon Montague, Joshua Liburd, Brandon Lee Sears. Photo by Alastair Muir

Eddie Elliott, Simon Ray Harvey, Simeon Montague, Joshua Liburd, Brandon Lee Sears. Photo by Alastair Muir

Brandon Lee Sears, Samuel Edwards, Eshan Gopal, Simon Ray Harvey, Simeon Montague. Photo by Alastair Muir

Brandon Lee Sears, Samuel Edwards, Eshan Gopal, Simon Ray Harvey, Simeon Montague. Photo by Alastair Muir

The original Broadway cast recording of Motown the Musical is available via Motown Records, a label of UMG Recordings – www.classicmotown.com

Performances: Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Thursday & Saturday matinees at 3pm

Prices: £19.50 – £69.50 Monday – Thursday, £19.50 – £75 Friday and Saturday.

No booking fees via www.motownthemusical.co.uk, over the phone on 020 7379 5399 or in person at the Shaftesbury Theatre Box Office.

Day seats will go on sale from the Box Office, in person only, from 10am on the day of performance.

Box Office: 020 7379 5399

Website: www.motownthemusical.co.uk

Twitter: @MotownUK

Facebook: MotownMusicalUK

Tony Nominee Charl Brown Performs with The Doo Wop Project in New York; Set for West End Production of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL 

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at Asians on Film on March 10th, The Women’s Film Festival in Philadelphia on March 13th and the Disorient Film Festival in Eugene Oregon in April. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2016 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachangphotography.com

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