MOTOWN THE MUSICAL to Dance Into Harris Center
It began as one man's story and became everyone's music-"everywhere, around the world." MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the story of Motown founder Berry Gordy's journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more.
Spanning six decades, from 1930s to the 1980s, the show is based on Barry Gordy's book To Be Loved; the show itself is framed by the famous 25th Anniversary Motown Show, which was a homecoming for many of its major artists. "Stunning...Berry Gordy's story is remarkable. His songs are the soundtrack of America" (Associated Press).
Featuring an extensive array of classic Motown songs -- "My Girl" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "I Want You Back," "What's Going On?," "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and so many more -- "their indelible styles are being effectively recreated by a blazing cast of gifted singers impersonating this crowded pantheon of pop-chart immortals" (New York Times, from the original Broadway production).
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL stars Trenyce (as Diana Ross), the Grammy nominated Singer/actress from American Idol Season 2; Matt Manuel (Marvin Gaye), also from American Idol, and Kenneth Mosley (Berry Gordy; Kenneth has performed in Sister Act, The Little Mermaid, "Grace & Frankie", "Ten Days in the Valley", "Black-ish" and more).
"Something close to rapture spreads through the audience when a magical little dynamo, the young Michael Jackson, takes the stage, spinning like a tiny top and singing with a grown man's soul in his little boy's voice box" (New York Times).
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL comes to Folsom for five performances including two matinees: Friday, January 5, 2018 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, January 6 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm; Sunday, January 7 at 1 pm and 6:30 pm. Tickets are $49-$85; Premium $89; 10% discount on Sunday evening single tickets. They are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from the Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. The Harris Center is located on the west side of the Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.
"When I went to the white radio stations to get my records played, they would laugh at me... [Still] I believed it's what's in the grooves that counts. Our music conveyed basic feelings, cutting through cultural and language barriers...I felt that people have so much in common, and that our similarities were so much more powerful than our differences. So we just put out our music. We worked hard to deliver to people things like joy, love, and desire, the emotions that people felt but couldn't always express. We did it for them...It's just a matter of communication. Communication breeds understanding and understanding breeds everything else." --Berry Gordy
Motown shattered barriers, shaped lives and helped make the world move to the same beat. It all began on January 12, 1959, when Berry Gordy Jr. obtained a loan of $800 from his family and founded an enterprise he called Motown Records. He set up his Detroit headquarters in a modest house emblazoned with an immodest sign, "Hitsville U.S.A." The slogan was premature, but prophetic. The company had its first hit record in 1960, and between 1961-1971 landed 163 singles in Billboard magazine's Top 20, including 28 songs that reached No. 1.
Gordy discovered, developed, and launched the careers of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, The Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, and Marvin Gaye - to name just a few - and Motown became the most successful business owned and operated by an African American in the United States.
What Gordy and Motown accomplished had ramifications far beyond the world of music. Although Motown was home mostly to black artists, Gordy envisioned the music as "the sound of young America" - and by that he meant Americans of all colors and ethnicities. He started Motown just before the civil rights movement was in full flower, when neighborhoods throughout the country remained segregated, and music by black artists was mostly relegated to black radio stations and the chitlin' circuit.
But Gordy and his mega team of writers, producers, in-house musicians, and vocalists created a sound that was irresistible, a thrilling amalgamation of gospel, blues, and mainstream pop. Gordy "endeavored to reach across the racial divide with music that could touch all people," as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame acknowledged, and barriers began to tumble. Motown's artists became a staple on mainstream white radio stations and the top venues around the world. Blacks and whites were seen fraternizing and dancing together at concerts.
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL features staging by Schele Williams, choreography by Patricia Wilcox (A Night with Janis Joplin) and Warren Adams (Toy Story), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical, Annie), costume design by Tony Award nominee Emilio Sosa (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, "Project Runway"), lighting design by Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Once, Sister Act), with sound design by Tony Award nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages, The Scottsboro Boys).
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL's arrangements and orchestrations are by Grammy and Tony Award nominee Ethan Popp (Rock of Ages), who also serves as music supervisor in reproducing the classic "Sound of Young America," with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Tony Award nominee Bryan Crook ("Smash") and dance arrangements by Zane Mark (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is produced by Tony Award winning producer Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q), Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Entertainment Doug Morris and Motown Founder Berry Gordy, in association with Work Light Productions.
For more information, visit www.MotownTheMusical.com.. . . . .