August 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm

'Motown: The Musical' to close in January

“Motown: The Musical” will close at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Broadway in January, according to a report in Variety, but only for a year and a half.

The entertainment publication reports that the Berry Gordy-penned musical, that tells the story of his life and times starting the legendary Detroit record company will close for a year and a half, then reopen in July 2016 at a different Nederlander-owned venue in New York’s fabled theatrical district.,

A road company of “Motown: The Musical” just closed in Chicago and opened in San Francisco, and is set to start a brief run in Detroit Oct. 22. A British production will open in London next summer, and producer Kevin McCollum explained that by closing in January, “we have an opportunity to use the production assets from Broadway for the U.K. production next year.”

Variety speculated that the move could also be a bit of a preemptive strike before sales soften any more, to build up excitement for a 2016 reappearance. After “Motown: The Musical” opened on Broadway in March 2013, it made more than a million dollars most weeks, but recently has dipped under $900,000 at times.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

swhitall@detroitnews.com