Motown the Musical

Motown the Musical is the Broadway and West End musical that has enjoyed rave audience reviews since first opening in 2013. Documenting Berry Gordy’s founding of the Motown sound, the musical includes hit songs from artists such as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye amongst many others. As the Motown sound hits the streets, Gordy’s artists make it big, ensuring that Motown will remain famous forever. Featuring over 50 songs, from full-length to short snippets, Motown the Musical includes hits such as “ABC”, “War”, “I’ll Be There” and “Dancing in the Street” as well as many others.


Motown artists

Motown artists

Berry Gordy, Jr.

Berry Gordy's founding of the Motown movement

Kevin McCollum and Doug Morris

Charles Randolph-Wright

Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams


Original Broadway Production

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre - Opened 14 Apr 2013, closed 18 Jan 2015, 738 performances

Cast: Brandon Victor Dixon (Berry Gordy), Valisia LeKae (Diana Ross), Charl Brown (Smokey Robinson), Bryan Terrell Clark (Marvin Gaye)


Original London Production

Shaftesbury Theatre - Opened 11 Feb 2016, closed 28 Oct 2017

Cast: Cedric Neal (Berry Gordy), Lucy St. Louis (Diana Ross), Charl Brown (Smokey Robinson), Sifiso Mazibuko (Marvin Gaye) Replacements: Obioma Ugoala (Smokey Robinson)


Broadway Revival (2016)

Nederlander Theatre - Opened 12 Jul 2016, closed 31 Jul 2016

Cast: Chester Gregory (Berry Gordy), Allison Semmes (Diana Ross), Jesse Nagar (Smokey Robinson), Jarran Muse (Marvin Gaye)


US Tour (2017)

US Tour - Opened 17 Jan 2017, closed 20 Aug 2017

Cast: Chester Gregory (Berry Gordy), Allison Semmes (Diana Ross), Jesse Nagar (Smokey Robinson), Jarran Muse (Marvin Gaye)

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

Featuring an abundance of smash-hit songs from the Motown era, Motown the Musical charts Berry Gordy’s founding of the musical movement.

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

Motown the Musical documents the real story of the Motown sound that hit the airwaves in 1959, changing music culture forever. Following the life of Berry Gordy, credited as the founder of Motown, the musical charts his journey from boxer to music mogul, discovering talents such as Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and Smokey Robinson.

Opening in 1983 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, stars are gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Motown with performances of popular songs founded in the era. Quickly, the musical rewinds to see a very young Berry Gordy watching his neighbours dancing in the streets of Detroit. In 1957, Gordy forms his own record label, alongside Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson. As the musical continues, Gordy gradually begins to discover The Supremes and Diana Ross, with whom he begins a tumultuous relationship.

Towards the end of the musical, Gordy begins to falter as Motown becomes a second-class sound after the emerging era of pop. Struggling to get his records played at local record stations, Gordy also finds that his popular acts such as Diana Ross are straining to break free from his management. When Motown begins to fall apart, Gordy does all he can to keep it together.

Popular numbers from artists such as The Miracles, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Jackie Wilson, Diana Ross and The Temptations feature throughout the musical, as well as original songs created specifically for a the production.


Motown the Musical contains over 50 snippets of Motown songs, listed below in alphabetical order:

  • “ABC” – The Jackson 5
  • “A Breathtaking Guy” – The Supremes
  • “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – Diana Ross
  • “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” – The Temptations
  • “Baby I Need Your Loving” – The Four Tops
  • “Ball of Confusion” – The Temptations
  • “Brick House” – The Commodores
  • “Buttered Popcorn” – Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • “Bye Bye Baby/Two Lovers” – Mary Wells
  • “Can I Close the Door” – Original Song
  • “Cruisin’” – Smokey Robinson
  • “Dancing in the Street” – Martha and the Vandellas
  • “Do You Love Me” – The Contours
  • “Get Ready” – The Temptations
  • “Give It to Me Baby” – Rick James
  • “Good Morning Heartache” – Diana Ross
  • “Got a Job” – The Miracles
  • “Happy Birthday” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Hey Joe (Black Like Me)” – Original Song
  • “I Can’t Get Next to You” – The Temptations
  • “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” – The Four Tops
  • “I Got the Feeling” – The Four Tops
  • “I Hear a Symphony” – The Supremes
  • “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye
  • “(I Know) I’m Losing You” – The Temptations
  • “I Want You Back” – The Jackson 5
  • “I’ll Be There” – The Jackson 5
  • “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” – Marvin Gaye
  • “It’s What’s in the Grooves That Counts” – Original Song
  • “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” – Teena Marie
  • “Lonely Teardrops” – Jackie Wilson
  • “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” – Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” – Marvin Gaye
  • “Money (That’s What I Want)” – Barrett Strong
  • “My Girl” – The Temptations
  • “My Guy” – Mary Wells
  • “My Mama Done Told Me” – The Miracles
  • “Please Mr Postman” – The Marvelettes
  • “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” – Diana Ross
  • “Reach Out I’ll Be There” – The Jackson 5
  • “Reet Petite” – Jackie Wilson
  • “Remember Me” – Diana Ross
  • “Shop Around” – The Miracles
  • “Shotgun” – Jr. Walker and the All Stars
  • “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Square Biz” – Teena Marie
  • “Stop! In the Name of Love” – The Supremes
  • “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” – Marvin Gaye
  • “Super Freak” – Rick James
  • “The Happening” – Diana Ross and the Supremes”
  • “The Love You Save” – The Jackson 5
  • “To Be Loved” – Marvin Gaye
  • “War” – Edwin Starr
  • “What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye
  • “Where Did Our Love Go” – The Supremes
  • “Who’s Lovin’ You” – The Miracles
  • “You’re All I Need to Get By” – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
  • “You’re Nobody til Somebody Loves You” – Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me” – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

2013 Tony Awards: Nominated for four Tony Awards

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