Post by ClassicSoul on May 21, 2006 22:15:35 GMT -5
For those in the Philly area :
The Life Story of Marvin Gaye: Silky Silk Soul Singer
Wednesday, May 24 through Sunday, May 28 Liacouras Center, Temple University $49-$56
The life story of Marvin Gaye is an exciting musical stage play about the singer’s extraordinary climb to international stardom. Performed by an all-star cast, this play will touch your heart with its beauty and sadness, and keep you on the edge of your seat with its drama. The story follows legendary singers life from a teenager to a household word and focusing on Gaye attempting to balance drug abuse, a mixed up family and a successful music career that lasted for four decades. Stars Keith Washington.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006 @ 8:00 pm Thursday, May 25, 2006 @ 8:00 pm Friday, May 26, 2006 @ 8:00 pm Saturday, May 27, 2006 @ 2:30 pm Saturday, May 27, 2006 @ 8:00 pm Sunday, May 28, 2006 @ 2:30 pm Sunday, May 28, 2006 @ 8:00 pm
Liacouras Center, Temple University 1776 North Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19121 215-204-2400 phone
Post by Diamond Girl on Sept 3, 2006 19:02:20 GMT -5
Life of a legend: Motown singer Marvin Gaye inspiration behind play
By Darryn Simmons Montgomery Advertiser
September 3, 2006
Nolbert Brown has been writing plays for 27 years. He's done plays based on the lives of such stars as Mahalia Jackson and Jackie Wilson.
Now he's ready to take on the biggest challenge of his life, and it will kick off in Montgomery this week.
Brown's play, "The Life Story of Marvin Gaye," comes to the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"After doing the play on Jackie Wilson, I wanted to try one on someone even bigger, so I started on Marvin," said Brown, who has been called the "life story playwright."
Brown is the only playwright who Gaye's family has given approval to produce a play about the singer. While writing the play about the singer's life and tragic death (he was shot and killed by his father in 1984), Brown felt he was on to something special.
"When Marvin got shot, it took my heart," Brown said. "He's not just a singer, he's magical, and it was an honor to do this play."
In "The Life Story of Marvin Gaye," Brown said you'll see how Gaye grew into one of the legendary singers of all time with hits such as "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "What's Going On" and "Sexual Healing."
"Everything he wrote turned to gold," Brown said.
Writing the script was not an easy task for Brown. Unlike your average play, writing a play on a person's real life makes for more restrictions.
"You have to make sure you get every character's personality right," Brown said. "It's not a fantasy book."
You also need to bring in actors who will do the characters justice. For that, Brown is confident he found the right talents. He said he wanted actors for the play who you didn't see all the time, but who were still perfect for the roles.
One that he liked was R&B singer Mel'isa Morgan ("Do Me Baby") for the role of Diana Ross.
"When I saw Mel'isa, she just had this pizzazz that I knew she needed to have to play Diana Ross," he said.
For the role of the adult Marvin Gaye, Brown brought in an experienced actor and singer who, like Gaye, knew something about getting the ladies excited -- Keith Washington.
"He's got what the women want to see, and his voice is actually similar to Marvin's," Brown said. "He pulls the role off, and you can tell he respects Marvin -- you have to respect him to play him."
Washington definitely respects Gaye and his legacy. However, that's part of the reason he didn't jump at the chance to play him when it was first offered.
Washington said that he was a bit intimidated by the challenging role for much of the same reasons Brown was challenged writing the play.
"Taking on the role of an actual person is difficult because that person has a personality, and it's not something you can add your spin on," Washington said. "To play someone larger than life like Marvin makes it even tougher."
Washington likes a challenge though and was encouraged by members of Gaye's family to take the role.
To prepare for the role, Washington watched documentaries on Gaye and talked to people who knew him including family, friends, members of his band and even some of the his fellow Motown artists, such as the Supremes.
Best known for his hit song, "Kissing You," Washington actually did a cover of one of Gaye's songs on his second album.
As he prepares for the play's debut this week, Washington said he's ready to show his stuff.
"I'm staying focused and treating it like I would a concert or acting -- it's not how you start but how you finish," he said.
Of all the actors in the play, Brown was most impressed with singer Alyson Williams, who plays the role of Gaye's mother.
"I was swept off my feet (when I heard her)," Brown said.
Williams is just as excited to have the role. She is a big fan of Gaye's music.
"Marvin had a crystal ball of sorts," Williams said. "His lyrics are still relevant today -- almost as if he knew the way the world would go."
The great music of Gaye was a big part in her deciding to accept the role.
When starting out with test runs in Washington D.C, Williams was at a bit of a disadvantage because there weren't a lot of points of reference to the kind of person Roberta Gaye was.
However, that will change on tour as Gaye's sister will be on the tour as a consultant.
"I have a lot more to work with now and I'm looking forward to it," Williams said.
Having the play kick off in Montgomery is something Brown is very high on.
"This was my first choice," he said. "Marvin's story needs to be told in the South and a historic city like Montgomery is the place to do it."