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The Five Heartbeats' Michael Wright Will Guest On Radio's It's Showtime With Rikki Lee

The program airs out of Chicago's Huntley township on 101.5 FM and can be streamed for free worldwide.

In anticipation of the 30th Anniversary Screening and Cast Reunion of The Five Heartbeats at the Tribeca Film Festival, star Michael Wright will guest on radio's It's Showtime with Rikki Lee on Friday June 4 at 3 PM Central. The program airs out of Chicago's Huntley township on 101.5 FM and can be streamed for free worldwide by going to and selecting the Listen Live icon.

Hosted by Rikki Lee Travolta, It's Showtime with Rikki Lee is a half hour radio talk show focused on the entertainment industry. Guests include stars of stage, film, television, and music.

Wright first gained fame in the film Streamers. The entire cast of the film was awarded Best Actor honors at the 1983 Venice Film Festival. Also in 1983, Wright starred in the science fiction television mini-series V. He then reprised his role as Elias Taylor in the mini-series V: The Final Battle, and in the subsequent television series V: The Series.

The 1991 film The Five Heartbeats has become known as a modern classic. Written by director Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans, the movie traces the lives of five strong young black men linked together by their Motown-like singing group over three decades. The story is heavily influenced by the real-life escapades of The Temptations. The story deals with such dicey subjects as racism, drug addiction, womanizing, jealousy, and greed.

For the June 4th interview, Travolta and Wright will discuss the actor's training at the Actor's Studio, his early acting career, how he landed his unforgettable role in The Five Heartbeats, and the staying power of the film.

"Michael Wright should have been nominated for an Oscar for his performance in The Five Heartbeats," touts Travolta. "His performance as Fast Eddie King Jr. is purely riveting. I would rank his performance with that of Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront."

Outside of radio, Travolta is recognized as the first special guest star in the stage phenomenon Tony n' Tina's Wedding - reviving ticket sales in Chicago and then branching out to boost ticket sales in productions around the country. In 2005 he was named alongside Donny Osmond and Patrick Cassidy as one of the Top 10 Headliners in the World for the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. His film credits include The Lurker, Old Advice from a Dead Friend, That Night, Vampirus, Crime Fiction, and Fear Frenzy.

"Michael Wright has an intensity that leaps off the screen. It's an intensity that I have tried to emulate in my own acting career," praises Travolta. "That's the power of a true star - they can inspire greatness in others."

It is that savage intensity he learned from Wright that Travolta brought to the lead role of Randal P. McMurphy in a 2016 Midwest revival of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, earning him a Broadway World Chicago Theatre Award nomination for Best Actor.

"Watching Michael Wright's film and television performances as a student of acting is eye opening. He paved the way for actors like me," adds Travolta.

Past guests on It's Showtime with Rikki Lee include Tony-nominee Adam Pascal who starred in the original Broadway production of RENT and the subsequent Chris Columbus film adaptation, Tony-nominee Robert Cuccioli who originated the title roles in the Broadway premier of Jekyll & Hyde, Adam Jacobs who created the title role in Disney's Broadway adaptation of Aladdin, Nathaniel Stampley who most recently appeared in Broadway's Cats, and Jesse Borrego from the television series Fame, 24, and Dexter.

You can listen to past episodes of It's Showtime with Rikki Lee for free as podcasts at


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