Motown the Musical has been a huge hit on Broadway, are you excited to bring the show to London?
Bringing this show to London is the ultimate dream come true for me. I spent my junior year of college in London, and the time here literally changed my life. Those college dreams of one day having a show in the West End have come full circle.
Why do you think Motown the Musical will appeal to the UK audience?
Motown became global long before the internet. It is astounding now to think how that could have happened before digital downloads, but a major factor was Motown’s first trip to England (which actually is portrayed in the musical). That trip introduced Motown to Europe, and subsequently the world, so I feel that Motown also is in England’s DNA. The music influenced so many British artists and continues to do so.
What is your favourite Motown memory?
Watching the Jackson Five’s debut on American television. It blew my mind (which was the appropriate expression back then!) At first I wanted to be Michael Jackson, then my voice changed, so I became Jermaine. I also idolized Berry Gordy. There were not many men of color with his influence and recognition. He not only influenced people in the arts, but in every profession. He gave people permission to dream big. And years later, here is another dream come true – working with him on this story, his story.
It’s Black History Month in the UK in October – why is the Motown story so important to African-Caribbean history
Motown opened the emotional door to the civil rights movement. The music transcended race, economics, geography – you name it. Motown became music that everyone claimed as their own. It brought the U.S. together at a time when the country was very divided. It is amazing to watch Motown the Musical travel down the same roads that the Motortown Revue did and hopefully bring people together again.
Motown the Musical opens this month at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London. book online at motownthemusical.co.uk or call 020 7379 5399