Last night (15 June 2017) at the Shaftesbury Theatre Jackie and Tito Jackson surprised the audience as they joined the cast of Motown the Musical after a performance of the West End hit production.
On stage The Jacksons met with Motown the Musical’ s Raphael Higgins-Humes, Samuel Nicholas, Jay Perry, Simon Ray Harvey and Wilson Kiiru who play The Jackson Five, Cedric Neal (Berry Gordy) and Lucy St Louis (Diana Ross). Gordy signed The Jackson Five to Motown records in 1969 when they released their debut album Diana Ross Presents The Jackson Five, which included number 1 hits I Want You Back and Who’s Lovin’ You, and last night saw the introduction of the original Motown legends to their West End counterparts.
The West End production of Motown the Musical is currently booking at the Shaftesbury Theatre to 24 February 2018. With music and lyrics from the Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy the production features a sixteen-piece 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. Charles Randolph-Wright’s production 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.
The Tony nominated Motown the Musical received its world premiere in April 2013 in New York with Berry Gordy and legendary Motown artists Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Mary Wilson, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder attending opening night. The show began its West End run in February 2016 with Gordy, Robinson and Wilson once again supporting the show on opening night. Subsequently, during the London run, The Four Tops and Martha Reeves have also visited the production. The first US National Tour opened to critical acclaim in Spring 2014 in Chicago and continues to play to packed houses across America.
Motown the Musical is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, has music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Ethan Popp, co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Cook, dance arrangements by Zane Mark and music direction by Gareth Weedon. Choreography is by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, scenic design by David Korins, costumes by ESOSA, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Peter Hylenski and projections by Daniel Brodie. UK Associate Director is Tara Wilkinson, UK Associate Set Designer is Andrew Edwards and UK Associate Lighting Designer is Alistair Grant. Motown the Musical is produced in the West End by Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris, Berry Gordy and Adam Spiegel.
Theatre: Shaftesbury Theatre, 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8DP
Dates: currently booking to 24 February 2018
Performances: Monday – Saturday 7.30pm, Thursday & Saturday matinees at 2.30pm
Prices: Tickets from £19.50
No booking fees via www.motownthemusical.co.uk, over the phone on 020 7379 5399 or in person at the Shaftesbury Theatre Box Office.
Box Office: 020 7379 5399
Photos by Craig Sugden