The producers of "MOTOWN THE MUSICAL" have announced the cast for the UK and Ireland tour. Edward Baruwa will play the leading role of 'Berry Gordy', Karis Anderson will play 'Diana Ross', Nathan Lewis will play 'Smokey Robinson' and Shak Gabbidon-Williams will play 'Marvin Gaye'.
The production will open at the Birmingham Alexandra Theatre on 11 October 2018 and will then tour across the UK until autumn 2019. Full tour dates below.
Edward Baruwa's previous credits include the West End productions of "Motown the Musical" at The Shaftesbury Theatre, "Les Misérables" at the Queen's Theatre, "Five Guys Named Moe" at the Marble Arch Theatre and the UK Tour of "Sister Act".
Karis Anderson is best known as being one third of pop band 'Stooshe' who celebrated a top five single 'Black Heart' in 2012 for which they received a nomination for Best British Single at the 2013 Brit Awards.
Nathan Lewis was a finalist on ITV's The X Factor in 2016 as part of boyband 'Five After Midnight'. Nathan makes his stage debut as 'Smokey Robinson'.
Shak Gabbidon-William's previous credits include 'Young Simba' in "The Lion King" in the West End and most recently starred as 'Seaweed' in the UK tour of "Hairspray".
The ensemble includes, Dayo Adeoye, Scott Armstrong, Simeon Beckett, Natalia Brown, Ethan Davis, Andrew Dillon, Akeem Ellis-Hyman, Christopher Gopaul, Daniel Haswell, Olivia Hibbert, Karis Jack, Michael Jeremiah, Amana Jones, Abz Kareem, Kane Matthews, DeeArna McClean, Matt Mills, Cordell Mosteller, Nicole Nyarambi, Spencer O'Brien, Perry O'Dea, Alex Okoampa, Reece Richards and Emma Robotham-Hunt
Charles Randolph-Wright, Director of "Motown the Musical" said,
"I am so thrilled that we have been able to find this incredible cast of British artists for the UK tour of Motown the Musical. Their talent has astounded us all, as they embody the soul of Motown and capture the energy and essence of those iconic artists. We are so excited to bring this show to cities across the UK and can't wait to begin. Get ready!
With music and lyrics from the Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy, Charles Randolph-Wright's production features a live orchestra playing 50 Motown tracks including Ain't No Mountain High Enough, I'll Be There, Dancing In The Street, Stop! In The Name Of Love, My Girl and I Heard It through the Grapevine and tells the story behind the classic hits.
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, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more. Motown the Musical uncovers the true story of the legendary record label that changed music history and created the soundtrack of a generation.
Tony nominated "Motown the Musical" received its world premiere in April 2013 in New York and recouped its $18 million investment by the end of 2014. The first US National Tour opened to critical acclaim in Spring 2014 in Chicago, grossing $20 million dollars during its standing room only sixteen-week run.
The London production of "Motown the Musical" opened on 11 February 2016. The production continues to play to standing ovations at the Shaftesbury Theatre where it is half way through its third year and is booking until April 2019.
"Motown the Musical" has music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Ethan Popp, co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Cook, dance arrangements by Zane Mark. Choreography is by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, scenic design by David Korins, costumes by Emilio Sosa, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Peter Hylenski, video by Daniel Brodie and Wig design by Charles LaPointe. "Motown the Musical" is produced in the UK by Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris, Adam Spiegel and Berry Gordy.
The original Broadway cast recording of "Motown the Musical" is available via Motown Records, a label of UMG Recordings - www.classicmotown.com