Stars Turn Out En Masse for 'Motown: The Musical' Opening Night
It was a star-studded affair at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Theater on Broadway for the opening night of Motown: The Musical. As lucky ticket-holders queued up along the sidewalk outside the iconic 46th Street theater, flashbulbs popped on the red carpet. In front of the theater marquee sat a display of the new Chrysler 300 Motown Edition sedan, in gleaming white. With the curtain scheduled for 6 p.m., patrons were allowed in at 5 while the stars began to arrive.
The celebrities in attendance included Motown founder Berry Gordy, who wrote the book for the musical (based on his autobiography, To Be Loved: The Music, the Magic, the Memories of Motown); Motown legends Diana Ross (along with her daughters, Rhonda Ross and Tracee Ellis Ross), Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight; Mary Wilson; The Commodores; Valerie Simpson; Motown songwriters Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland Jr.; songwriting team Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff; Motown songwriter and producer Mickey Stevenson; Sony Music CEO Doug Morris and chief creative officer Clive Davis; Barry Diller; Jimmy Iovine; David Geffen; Tommy Mottola; Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid; Jesse Jackson; Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson; Redfoo of LMFAO (Gordy’s son); Vanessa Williams; Barry Manilow; Melba Moore; Sting; Gayle King; Glenn Close; Jane Fonda; Spike Lee; Anthony Mason; Cuba Gooding Jr.; Judy Craymer; Suzanne Depasse; Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb; Andy Cohen; Bruce Resnikoff; Benny Medina; Claudette Robinson; Cindy Adams; Star Jones; Rosanna Arquette; Debbie Allen; Mary Hart; Bob Martin; George Schlatter; Shelly Berger; Courtney B. Vance; Epic recording artist Jada Grace; Wolfgang Puck; Universal Music Group chairman Lucian Grainge; Rep. Maxine Waters; Evander Holyfield; producer Kevin McCollum; Norm Lewis; and Tony-winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell.
During the show, Bono could be seen bobbing his head and clapping enthusiastically (notably during the musical numbers featuring the Jackson 5 and the performance of The Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion”).
After the curtain call, Gordy joined the cast onstage, followed by Ross, Robinson, Wonder, Mary Wilson and Knight. Gordy thanked the crowd as the group swayed to “Dancing in the Street.”