Krystal Joy Brown Is Motown's New Diana Ross Starting Jan. 24
By Adam Hetrick
Krystal Joy Brown, who recently starred in the Broadway premiere of Big Fish, takes on the role of Diana Ross in the Broadway musical Motown beginning Jan. 24 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
Brown permanently takes over for Motown's original, Tony-nominated star Valisia LeKae, who departed the musical in recent weeks to undergo treatment for ovarian cancer. Read Playbill.com's interview with LeKae here.
Since LeKae's departure, actress Felicia Boswell has been playing Diana Ross.
Brown portrayed Josephine Bloom opposite Bobby Steggert in the short-lived Andrew Lippa musical Big Fish this season. She has also appeared on Broadway in Leap of Faith and Hair.
Motown, produced by Berry Gordy, Tony winner Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q) and Sony Music CEO Doug Morris, opened on Broadway April 14 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Read the reviews here.
Charles Randolph-Wright directs Motown, which is brimming 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.
The current cast also features Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Berry Gordy), Tony nominee Charl Brown (Smokey Robinson), Bryan Terrell Clark (Marvin Gaye), Timothy J. Alex, Nicholas Christopher, Rebecca E. Covington, Andrea Dora, Preston W. Dugger III, Wilkie Ferguson III, Dionne Figgins, Rod Harrelson, Marva Hicks, Afra Hines, Tiffany Janene Howard, Jawan M. Jackson, John Jellison, Crystal Joy, Aaron Kaburick, Mykal Kilgore, Grasan Kingsberry, Jamie Laverdiere, Raymond Luke, Jr., Krisha Marcano, Prince George Maynard, Tracy McDowell, Marielys Molina, Jarran Muse, Jesse Nager, Milton Craig Nealy, N’Kenge, Dominic Nolfi, Allison Semmes, Saycon Sengbloh, Ryan Shaw, Eric LaJuan Summers, Ephraim M. Sykes, Julius Thomas III, Rickey Tripp, Nik Walker, Donald Webber, Jr. and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson.
According to producers, "Motown tells the gripping story behind the hits as Smokey finds his unique voice, Diana skyrockets to stardom and Berry fights against the odds to turn his improbable dream into a triumphant reality. The music that shattered barriers and shaped our lives finally comes to the Broadway stage in the season's most highly anticipated world-premiere event."
Motown has scenic design by David Korins, costume design by ESosa, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Peter Hylenski, projection design by Daniel Brodie, and choreography by Patricia Wilcox (Blues in the Night) and Warren Adams ("Toy Story"). Motown features arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp, with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Bryan Crook, dance arrangements by Zane Mark and music direction by Joseph Joubert.
Watch highlights from Motown here:
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