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Motown Announces Diana Ross and Berry Gordy Casting
Mar 10, 2014

Motown The MusicalBroadway In Chicago and Producers Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Berry Gordy announced that Chicago native Allison Semmes and Clifton Oliver have been cast in the leading roles of Diana Ross and Berry Gordy in MOTOWN THE MUSICAL.  The First National Tour begins performances April 22, 2014 at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago before continuing to cities across the country.  Additional casting will be announced soon.

Clifton Oliver (Berry Gordy) has performed in the Broadway productions of The Lion King (Simba), In The Heights (Benny opposite Jordin Sparks) and Wicked (Fiyero).  Other credits include National Tours of The Lion King (Simba), Rent (Benny & Collins) and Ragtime (Ensemble).

Allison Semmes (Diana Ross) is a Chicago native who received a B.M. Opera at UIUC, M.M. from NYU-Steinhardt.    Her Broadway credits include Motown the Musical (Florence Ballard) and The Book of Mormon (Nabalungi U/S, Swing).   Other credits include The Color Purple National Tour, Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz and Candide.

Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy's journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more.

Featuring more than 50 classic hits such as "My Girl" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," MOTOWN THE MUSICAL tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat.

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL features choreography by Patricia Wilcox (Blues in the Night) and Warren Adams (Toy Story), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical, Annie), costume design by Tony Award nominee ESosa (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, "Project Runway"), lighting design by Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Once, Sister Act), sound design by Tony Award nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages, The Scottsboro Boys), projection design by Daniel Brodie (Jekyll and Hyde), hair and wig design by Charles LaPointe (Memphis) and casting by Telsey + Company.

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL's arrangements and orchestrations are by Grammy and Tony Award nominee Ethan Popp (Rock of Ages), who also serves as music supervisor in reproducing the classic "Sound of Young America," with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Tony Award nominee Bryan Crook ("Smash") and dance arrangements by Zane Mark (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is produced by Tony Award winning producer Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q), Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Entertainment Doug Morris and Motown founder Berry Gordy.

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