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Producers of Motown the Musical have announced that Obioma Ugoala will join the cast in the role of Smokey Robinson from 4 July 2016.
The show opened to generally favourable reviews in the popular press: "The show moves beyond being a welcome nostalgia fest and becomes an urgent rallying cry for us all to rediscover our Motown mojo" (Telegraph); "This show is always enjoyable, if not always the transcendent hit you long for it to be" (The Times). Our reviewer, Mark Shenton, awarded the show four stars, praising the cast: "it is thrilling to see so much exceptional talent on one stage."
Motown The Musical is based on the book 'To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown' by Berry Gordy and features an eighteen piece orchestra that brings to life 50 Motown tracks including “My Girl”, “Dancing In The Street”, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”. It is described as a "musical sensation with real soul".
The cast includes: Charl Brown (Smokey Robinson), Sifiso Mazibuko (Marvin Gaye), Cedric Neal (Berry Gordy), Lucy St. Louis (Diana Ross), Keisha Amponsa Banson (Mary Wells), Cherelle Williams (Mary Wilson), Cleopatra Rey (Gladys Knight), Aisha Jawondo (Martha Reeves), Samuel Edwards (Jackie Wilson), Cleopatra Rey (Gladys Knight) and Jordan Shaw (Stevie Wonder).
The original production ran at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway, New York from 14 April 2013 to 18 January 2015 for a total of 738 performances. It was nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Actress in a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical for original cast members Valisia LeKae and Charl Brown.
Synopsis: "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 and the Supremes, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye and many more. Motown the Musical uncovers the story of the legendary record label that changed music history and created the soundtrack of a generation."
Motown The Musical is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright with choreography by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, scenic design by David Korins, costume design by ESosa, lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Peter Hylenski. The producers are Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris, Berry Gordy and Adam Spiegel.
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