“Motown” Musical: Aretha Showed Up

“Motown: The Musical” is coming to Broadway this spring and above is a video from the launch. The musical tells the story of Motown founder Berry Gordy (played by “The Color Purple”‘s Brandon Victor Dixon) from his early days as a songwriter in Detroit to the establishment of his legendary record label. The production features songs from Motown’s extensive catalog, which includes artists such as Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Michael Jackson, and the Jackson Five. Last Thursday, the cast assembled at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre (home to current hit “Newsies”) to preview numbers from the show. The audience included a number of real-life Motown icons including Gordy (a producer of the show) and Robinson, as well as soul legend Aretha Franklin, who offered praise for what she saw. ”Berry does not attach his name to anything that’s not going to be a winner and first class,” said Aretha, who once did a concert appearance dressed as a clown. Check out an inside look at the musical, which begins previews at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on March 11 before an official opening on April 14.

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