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James Bellamy cast as Stevie Wonder"Dancing In the Streets"
James Bellamy the 17-year-old London school boy, from ITV's The X Factor, has been cast as Stevie Wonder in Dancing in the Streets, a celebration of the greatest Motown hits, at the Cambridge Theatre.
James, who sang Michael Jackson hits in the talent competition was taken to Dublin as part of Louis Walsh's boot camp but just failed to get in his final 4. He is still at college during the day and appearing on the West End stage in the evening.
James, who lives in Crouch End, North London, had a role in the recent film "Exorcist: The Begining" (he was killed by a pack of hayenas!), he was in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", he featured in the BBC TV series "Patrick¹s Planet", was in seven episodes of "Murphy¹s Law" and he has appeared in "EastEnders", "The Bill" and Ricky Gervais's "Extras".
Dancing in the Streets received reasonable notices from the popular press when it opened 19 Jul 2005, following previews from 7 July: DOMINIC CAVINDISH for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "The company sing not just with hark-at-us virtuosity but with unbridled soulfulness." CAROLINE SULLIVAN for THE GUARDIAN says, "There's no history or attempt at social contextualisation, which is scandalous given Motown's critical role in bringing black music into the mainstream." CLIVE DAVIS for THE TIMES says, "YES, it’s only a juke-box musical...But when the juke-box is as potent as this, the usual reservations can be laid to one side. As a celebration of the Motown era, Dancing in the Streets has enough verve and unabashed high spirits to win over all but the most curmudgeonly audiences."
Dancing in the Streets, is directed by Keith Strachan, designed by Sean Cavanagh, with choreography by Carole Todd. It is presented by Paul Walden & Derek Nicol for Flying Music.
Forty years after Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles first arrived in the UK in the spring of 1965 with the Tamla Motown Revue tour, Dancing in the Streets recreates what it was like to be there and to experience the energy, style and music of the greatest stars of the Motown stable.
In the early 1960s, in a town called Detroit, local kids were looking for a form of expression they they could call their own. They found it at the Motown Hitsville studio. In 1959, Berry Gordy, a successful songwriter with his first big hit, 'Reet Petite' with Detroit born Jackie Wilson under his belt, decided to form his own record company and so, in a timber frame bungalow at 2648 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Tamla Motown Records was born. During the years that followed, black soul music started to reach a white audience and the rest, as they say, is history...
Dancing in the Streets is currently taking bookings to 22 April 2006.