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Berry Gordy's Motown: The Musical, the Broadway show that traces the music mogul's life andcelebrates the artists who recorded for his renowned label, gets its official opening on Sunday at NewYork City's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. As you'd expect, the musical is packed with classic songs by the likesof Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, TheJackson 5, The Temptations and more.
Beyond the great music, Gordy says he hopes the play sets the record straight with regard to some ofthe negative rumors about the way he ran Motown and his treatment of the artists.
"It's wonderful for me to write for the fans the truth," he tells ABC News Radio, "'cause I appreciateso much the people around the world who love Motown and believe in Motown and lived Motown."Gordy adds that he hopes the play shows "that a black kid could do a Motown without being a crook orin the mafia or this or that -- which is what I was painted as for many years."
Berry says that one of the things he's enjoying most about the production is watching the talentedcast of actors who play him and the various Motown stars. "I have this opportunity to work with thisincredible cast of people who, in many cases, know more about me and Motown than I remember," heexplains.
Gordy says he's particularly impressed by the by the three actors who are portraying him at variousstages in his life. "It's fascinating," he notes, "'cause the people that are doing me are doing me betterthan me."
Meanwhile, Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays the adult Gordy, says Berry has been very supportive ofhim throughout the process of developing his character.
"We gained a level of trust pretty early on," he reveals. "He trusts me as an actor, and he also trusts myintelligence, as far as how I look at the show as a whole."
Dixon adds, "It's funny, the more we get into to it the more like him I become. Because that's exactlyhow he is: Berry's always looking at the whole picture."
Then there's Valisia LeKae, who plays Diana Ross. She tells ABC News Radio that she thinks thelegendary diva, who had a long love affair with Berry, will appreciate the way he depicted theirrelationship."I think Mr. Gordy has told a beautiful story about the two of them as well as Motown,"says the actress. "I think she will be happy."
To find out more about the production, visit MotownTheMusical.com. Tickets are on sale forperformances through March 14, 2014.
Photo courtesy of soulwalking.co.uk
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