Here They Come! Meet the Cast of MOTOWN, Returning to Broadway Tonight
Motown the Musical returns to Broadway tonight, Tuesday, July 12 at The Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41 Street) for a strictly limited 18-week-only engagement through Sunday, November 13, 2016. Scroll down to learn more about the company and watch highlights from the original production below!
The smash hit production, featuring the music of the legendary Motown catalogue and a book by Berry Gordy, will star Chester Gregory as Berry Gordy, Allison Semmes as Diana Ross, Jesse Nager as Smokey Robinson, Jarran Muse as Marvin Gaye, and J.J. Batteast and Leon Outlaw, Jr. as Young Berry Gordy/Stevie Wonder/Michael Jackson.
Motown The Musical concluded its original world premiere Broadway engagement on January 18, 2015 following 775 performances at The Lunt Fontanne Theatre. The original Broadway production grossed over $1 million a week regularly throughout its run and concluded as both a critical and audience favorite and a commercial success, having recouped its $18 million investment at the end of 2014.
Chester Gregory (Berry Gordy) was last seen starring in the Goodman Theatre's revival of August Wilson's Two Trains Running. Broadway credits include Hairspray, Tarzan, Cry-Baby and Sister Act. He has toured nationally with Dreamgirls, Sister Act, as well as his one-man show The Eve of Jackie Wilson. Chester has received many awards, including the Jeff Award and a NAACP Theatre Award, and has been presented the key to the city of his hometown of Gary, Indiana and in East Chicago. He has also been chosen as an Honorary State Representative of Indiana and has received a Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater Columbia College in Chicago.
Allison Semmes (Diana Ross) returns to Broadway with Motown. Studied opera at UIUC, M.M. NYU-Steinhardt. Broadway: Motown The Musical (Florence Ballard & Diana Ross u/s), The Book of Mormon (Swing, Nabalungi u/s). Regional: Dreamgirls,Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz, Candide, Violet. Tours: The Color Purple (Squeak). Allison has sung with Erykah Badu & Stevie Wonder.
Jesse Nager.jpg" align="left" width="125" />Jesse Nager (Smokey Robinson) opened MOTOWN on Broadway as Eddie Kendricks/The Temptations. Broadway: SCANDALOUS, MARY POPPINS, GOOD VIBRATIONS, MAMMA MIA!. Tours/Off-Broadway: XANADU/FAME ON 42ND ST. He has also sung with Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, and Patti LaBelle. Jesse is the founder and Artistic Director of The Broadway Boys, a touring group that redefines the "musical theater."
Jarran Muse (Marvin Gaye) has appeared on Broadway/NYC in Motown The Musical, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Dreamgirls; International Tours: American Idiot, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, 42nd Street. Regional Theater: Marriott Lincolnshire, Portland Center Stage (Will Parker in Oklahoma!), Goodspeed, Fulton Opera Houses, Pittsburgh CLO.
Nik Alexander-200x250.jpg" align="left" width="125" />Nik Alexander (Ensemble) joins the cast of MOTOWN with previous touring credits that include Priscilla Queen of The Desert, Smokey Joes Café, Jesus Christ Superstar.
Erick Buckley (Ensemble) has appeared on Broadway and in the national tours of LES MISERABLES (Valjean); The Addams Family (u/s Uncle Fester); The Full Monty (Dave); The Phantom of the Opera (Piangi); Kiss Me, Kate (Gangster #1); Grease! (Roger).
Chadae (Ensemble) is a Chicagoland native making her Broadway debut in MOTOWN's return. She previously appeared in the First National Tour of MOTOWN.
Chante Carmel (Ensemble) is making her Broadway debut. A Los Angeles native and U.C. Santa Barbara alumni, her theatre credits include: Rent (Joanne), Dreamgirls (Michelle). TV: "A Different World," "ER," "New Girl." Web series: "Buppies" (BET). Film: A Beautiful Soul; co-writer of "All or Nothing" (Save The Last Dance soundtrack). Host/creator of Motown Musical News (YouTube).
Darius Crenshaw (Swing) is the recipient of the Mae L. Wien Award (School of American Ballet). Other credits include Cincinnati Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, LA Opera, The Color Purple( Broadway and 1st National Touring companies), Un Ticket Pour Broadway (A Ticket for Broadway), Street Scene with Opera de Toulon (Toulon, France), and The Phantom of the Opera (Broadway).
Lynnoris Evans (Ensemble) previously appeared in the National Tour of Motown the Musical. On Broadway, he was featured in the cast of Leap of Faith. Other tour credits include: Flashdance, Memphis. Cirque du Soleil: Viva Elvis. He holds a BFA from Fordham University.
Anissa Felix (Swing) has appeared in regional productions of Around the World in 80 Days and Little Shop of Horrors. She is a University of Mary Washington alum.
Talya Groves (Swing) is making her Broadway debut in Motown. She previously appeared in the tour Motown The Musical (first national). She is a Kansas City native and 2015 graduate of Pace University's Musical Theater Program.
Rod Harrelson (Dance Captain/Swing) previously appeared in the First National Tour of Motown. Originally from Greensboro, N.C., he began dancing at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Robert Hartwell (Ensemble) is an alum of the University of Michigan. On Broadway, he's appeared in Memphis, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Cinderella. On tour: Dreamgirls. He currently serves as the TV Host and Interior Designer of "Broadway Quick Change" and is the founder of The Broadway Dance Collective Master Class Tour.
Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr. (Ensemble) made his Broadway debut in The Book of Mormon recently after graduating from Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama. He is the Founder/Artistic Director of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company.
Trisha Jeffrey (Ensemble) returns to Broadway with Motown The Musical. Other Broadway credits include Little Shop Of Horrors (OBC), All Shook Up (OBC), Rent. She previously won Best Actress for "Celie" in The Color Purple from Broadway World Chicago. National Tours: Sister Act, Rent.
Jamie LaVerdiere (Swing) has appeared on Broadway in The Producers (St. James), Pirate Queen (Hilton), Motown (Lunt Fontanne). Touring credits include: Urinetown (First National), A Chorus Line (Europe). Off-Broadway credits include: Rothschild and Sons (York); Closer Than Ever (York); I Love You, You're Perfect... (Westside).
Elijah Ahmad Lewis (Ensemble) has appeared Off-Broadway in Mama I Want To Sing (Minister Of Music), Sing Harlem Sing, We Are. Regional credits include: Once On This Island (Papa Ge), Guys and Dolls (Nathan Detroit). Film credits include: Mama I Want To Sing, America (Rosie O'Donnell).
Loren Lott (Ensemble) is a San Diego native and Clark Atlanta University Alumna (B.A. Mass Media Arts), and was an "American Idol" Top 16 finalist in 2015. Theatre credits include: Motown the Musical Tour (Gladys Knight/Esther/Diana u/s), Ragtime (Sarah), Shrek the Musical (Fiona u/s), Once On This Island (Erzulie) and more.
Jarvis B. Manning, Jr. (Ensemble) is an HSPVA and AMDA grad and making his Broadway debut in Motown's return to New York City.
Krisha Marcano (Ensemble) has appeared on Broadway in Motown, The Color Purple (Squeak, original cast), Sweet Charity, Aida, Fosse (first national tour). Concert dance credits include: Martha Graham Dance Co., Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Marq Moss (Ensemble) is a DC native who has performed as a background vocalist for Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Carole King, Anita Baker, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross. He as also appeared in the national tour of The Lion King.
Rashad Naylor (Ensemble) has appeared on Broadway in Hairspray (Thad, Seaweed U/S, Original Cast Album), and Jersey Boys (Barry Belson). Off-Broadway he appeared in RENT (Benny). National Tour credits include: Rock of Ages, The Book of Mormon. Regional credits: The Rat Pack (Sammy Davis Jr.), The Wiz (Scarecrow).
Ramone Owens (Ensemble) is a Los Angeles native, who has appeared in regional productions of Disney's Aladdin, Dreamgirls, and Man of La Mancha. He holds a BFA from Boston Conservatory.
Olivia Puckett (Ensemble) is making her Broadway debut in Motown. She holds a BA from Wagner College. National Tour credits include: Green Day's American Idiot (Whatsername). Other selected credits: Rent (Mimi), All Shook Up (Lorraine).
Jamison Scott (Ensemble) has appeared on Broadway in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Memphis, Grease!. Tour/Regional credits include Motown, Grease!, Hairspray, We Will Rock You, Saturday Night Fever, Altar Boyz. He has been featured on the recordings of Hairspray movie, Killer Queen-A Tribute to Queen, Grease! 2007 Cast Album. Joey Stone.jpg" align="right" width="115" />
Doug Storm (Ensemble) has appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, Jekyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dance of the Vampires, Chess in Concert. Off-Broadway, he has been seen in Bat Boy (Original cast). Other credits include: Disney's Tarzan, Because of Winn Dixie, Heathers, Notre Dame de Paris (Quasimodo).
Martina Sykes (Ensemble) is making her Broadway debut in Motown's return. She is a native of St. Petersburg, FL, and a graduate of the University of Florida. Select credits include Raindogs, Rent, and Hairspray.
Nik Walker previously appeared on Broadway in Motown from 2013-2015. Off-Broadway, he was last seen in Peter and the Starcatcher. He has also appeared on NBC's long-running hit "Law & Order SVU."
Galen J. Williams (Swing) was previously seen in the first national tour of Motown the Musical. His other select credits include: Black Nativity, Passing Strange, Three Little Birds, 2-2 Tango. He holds a B.F.A. from Howard University.