The cast of 'Motown the Musical' performs onstage at the 67th Annual Tony Awards. (Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images)
At last, “Motown the Musical” comes home to the Motor City — the musical will open in Detroit this fall, with a four-week run Oct. 21-Nov. 16 at the Fisher Theatre.
Ticket prices and an on-sale date will be announced later.
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright from a book written by Berry Gordy Jr., the musical traces the rags to riches narrative of Gordy’s life, from his boyhood on Detroit’s east side in the 1930s to the worldwide success of the Motown sound in the 1960s.
It features young performers depicting Gordy, his sister Esther, Motown staffers and talent, including Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and Michael Jackson.
The musical was produced by Broadway veteran Kevin McCollum, Sony Music CEO Doug Morris and Gordy.
“We’re very excited about the Detroit dates,” said producer McCollum. “Anytime you can do ‘Motown the Musical’ in the town that birthed it, it is special, not only for the community but for us as well. And it’s great to be at the Fisher Theatre, so close to the neighborhood where Hitsville is.
“The young company will be able to immerse themselves in the city for a month and be part of the Detroit community while they tell this great story about Detroit.”
The New York production has been tweaked over the past year, McCollum confirms, and there’s no telling what will happen to it by the time the company gets here, under Gordy’s sharp eye.
“The thing about Mr. Gordy as a creator is, he’s never done,” McCollum said. “We’re still making tweaks to the New York show, because it’s not a recording. We’re having a lot of fun with it.”
The road company goes into rehearsals for their Chicago and Detroit engagements in about five weeks.
In the meantime, discussions are under way about a special Motown Historical Museum event keyed to the opening. “We certainly hope to be able to do a big splash around the opening,” says museum CEO Allen Rawls.
In a statement about “Motown the Musical”’s Detroit run, Berry Gordy Jr. said: “I feel honored to bring it home, to the people who really know me. This is where it all began. I am incredibly proud of this show and thrilled to share our story with those of you who already know it and, even more, with a new generation of Detroiters.”
For more information, visit BroadwayInDetroit.com or MotownTheMusical.com.