NEW YORK (AP) — The groundbreaking song-and-dance show “Soul Train” is chugging toward Broadway.
Stage and film producer Matthew Weaver, who helped create “Rock of Ages,” has acquired the theatrical stage rights to the TV show and said Tuesday he’s hoping to repeat his success by turning “Soul Train” into a show that attracts both die-hard Broadway fans and those who usually avoid Times Square.
“I’m nervous and I’m humbled and I’m excited,” said Weaver, who heads the production company MediaWeaver Entertainment. “I do think we’re the right people to do it because I think it’s got to have that spirit of ‘Rock of Ages,’ which is part old-fashioned musical but also part party.”
“Soul Train,” with its trademark animated train opening, provided a national, weekly showcase for R&B artists, black culture and fashion, and gave advertisers an entree to the black consumer market. It later had to compete with video shows on BET that broadcast black artists, and eventually MTV and VH-1.
The TV show, a sort of black version of “American Bandstand,” featured such acts as James Brown, Al Green, Ike and Tina Turner, Hall & Oates, Donna Summer, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Prince, Run D.M.C. and Destiny’s Child during its 35-year run. Moves that “Soul Train” dancers developed spread nationwide.
Don Cornelius started the music and dance show in 1970 in Chicago and served as its host until 1993. It aired in syndication from 1971 until 2006 and spun off an awards show that is still aired. Cornelius killed himself in 2012.
Weaver recalled growing up in New York and making sure to watch “Soul Train” every Saturday morning, mesmerized by the dance, fashion and music. He plans to next hire a writer and get music rights. His only timeframe for the stage is “when the story’s right.”
“‘Rock of Ages’ is an awesome show, but it’s not just because we have ‘Sister Christian’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believin” and serve liquor in the aisles that that show is still running five years later. It’s still running because we have a great story and great characters,” said Weaver.
“To me, that’s the heart of ‘Soul Train’ — a great story and great characters. The music will be great, the fashion will be great, the ambiance, the vibe. But if you don’t have a good story, none of that means anything.”
Weaver, who produced such films as “We’re the Millers” and “The Heartbreak Kid,” has grown “Rock of Ages” into an international brand, with a film version, three national tours and productions of the show in Las Vegas, London, Australia, Toronto, Japan and South Korea.
With 35 years of music on “Soul Train,” Weaver has plenty of song possibilities, depending on what the final story is. But he’s hopeful he can build a powerful score. “We had a lot of luck on ‘Rock,’ so hopefully we have the same karma here,” he said.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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24. Diggy Simmons
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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