Motown founder Berry Gordy has received a lot of accolades in his lengthy career, as well as the satisfaction of seeing a business he started from the ground up become the music of a generation. Now, Gordy is celebrating a great achievement once again as “Motown: The Musical” continues its successful Broadway run.
The show tells the story of the Motown label from its origins in Detroit to its most famous hitmakers – Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and the Temptations among them.
“I think you stumble into stuff like we all do, I guess,” says Gordy of his success. “You can be good, smart and all that stuff but you have to be lucky. Some of the cast from the Broadway show – I” get them mixed up with the original artists, especially Diana.”
Gordy says casting himself wasn’t hard – his director, Charles Randolph Wright, brought the actors to Gordy for approval. Brandon Victor Dixon who plays Gordy, was handpicked by the Motown founder. Although he didn’t have that much Broadway experience, Gordy says he was the most like him.
Reviews of the show have been favorable, but the legacy of Motown and its great hits are the main attraction, with over 50 songs performed from Motown’s glory days. Gordy says he’s proud to see young people continue his legacy.
“I love all music and I love all the young cats coming up. Some of them are just so cool. I’m amazed. I’m glad they didn’t come along when I came along. Their minds – they just be thinking of stuff. They have all kinds of technology and stuff,” Gordy says. “Time is moving. My feeling is technology makes dumb people smart, smart people smarter and geniuses can go through the roof. I enjoy it all. It’s so much fun.”
“Motown: The Musical” heads to Chicago in 2014, although the Broadway cast and production will remain on Broadway.