Christopher’s “Motown” Show Begins Previews

March 16, 2013

Nicholas ChristopherAlthough critics won’t review the show until its official April 14 premiere, entertainment columnists have heard it through the grapevine that “Motown: The Musical” – the new Broadway production featuring Bermuda’s Nicholas Christopher [pictured] — promises to be a sensation.

“Motown” will mark Mr. Christopher’s Broadway debut.

The show — which began previews at New York’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre last Monday [Mar. 10] — is structured around the celebrated 1983 “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” TV reunion special and the reluctance of record label founder Berry Gordy to attend because he feels all of his stars have abandoned him [Diana Ross had moved to RCA by this time, the Jacksons to Epic, etc.].

“The cast, I’m told, is great, and they sing the hell out of that old Motown catalog,” said “New York Post” Broadway columnist Michael Reidel earlier this week.

“The box office isn’t so bad, either. ‘Motown’ took in nearly $300,000 the day after its first preview.”

While Bermudian  actor/singer Mr. Christopher has appeared in two major New York productions since 2011 — the critically praised revival of the musical “Rent” and playwright Katori Hall’s searing drama “Hurt Village” – neither show was staged in the traditional Broadway theatre district, extending from 40th to 54th Street, and from west of Sixth Avenue to east of Eighth Avenue, and including Times Square and 42nd Street.

Charles Randolph-Wright directs “Motown”, which is studded with songs made famous by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five.

Last year’s “Motown: The Musical” launch event

Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon and Valisia Lekae co-star as Berry Gordy and Diana Ross.

Mr. Gordy, who also authored the book to “Motown”, is producing the musical along with Tony winner Kevin McCollum.

Mr. Christopher, who attended Walnut Hill School For the Arts in Massachusetts and the Boston Conservatory, later studied musical theatre at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York.

The son of Hamilton Town Crier Ed Christopher, he  made his professional musical theatre debut early in 2011  in the US national touring company of the Broadway musical hit “In The Heights.”

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