Actors across the country can relive the birth of Motown and rise to stardom with the likes of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson in a new Broadway musical based on the life and career of Motown founder Berry Gordy.
Casting director Bethany Knox of Telsey + Company is touring the country to cast the world premiere Broadway production of “Motown: The Musical,” featuring music and lyrics from the eponymous record label’s catalog and a book by Gordy himself. Open calls will be held in November and December in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Motown’s hometown of Detroit.
The producers announced in August that Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (“The Color Purple”) will star as Berry Gordy opposite Valisia LeKae (“The Book of Mormon”) as Diana Ross, but several iconic roles are still available.
Knox is looking for adult actors who can match the physical and vocal styles of Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson to portray these legendary recording artists as young men, as well as an 8- to 11-year-old boy to play Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Berry Gordy as children. In addition, an attractive female singer with a slender build and “an amazing pop singing voice” who moves very well will cover Diana Ross and other featured ensemble roles, and a male bass singer will play various featured ensemble parts.
The producers are seeking African-American singers for all roles. No prior theater experience is required.
Open call auditions for the above roles will be held Saturday, Nov. 3, at Winans Academy of Performing Arts in Detroit and at Telsey + Company in New York City; Saturday, Nov. 10, at Hollywood Methodist Church in L.A.; Sunday, Nov. 18, at Lou Conte Dance Studio (a.k.a. Hubbard Street Dance) in Chicago; and Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Performers should prepare a Motown song that shows their range. Both Equity and non-Equity actors will be seen at all of the above audition locations.
Actors who cannot attend these auditions may upload a video audition to YouTube to be considered. To submit an audition video for young Michael Jackson, actors should record themselves performing “I Want You Back,” “I’ll Be There,” or “Who’s Loving You.” For all other roles, performers should sing a song from the Motown songbook.
For more information and audition details, visit MotownTheMusical.com and view the full casting notices online at Backstage.com.
“Motown: The Musical” is scheduled to open Sunday, April 14, 2013, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway, following preview performances that begin Monday, March 11. Rehearsals begin mid-January in New York City. Gordy is producing the show with Kevin McCollum and Doug Morris. The production will be directed by Charles Randolph-Wright (“Ruined,” “Dreamgirls”), who also directed a workshop of the musical in New York earlier this year.